St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Friday, April 15, 2022
Good Fridayservices at noon and at 7 pm
The service for Good Friday includes communion from the reserved sacrament; What we consecrated at the Maundy Thursday Eucharist will be shared today.
Remember that you are invited to wear masks if you are immunocompromised or still uneasy about being in public without one. But you are no longer required to wear one.
Today, as last night, you may dip the bread into the chalice at communion if you wish, as we will no longer be using the little cups.
There will be organ music at both services, and hymns.
If you have not participated in a Good Frida service, I invite you to do so at either noon or 7 pm. And if you have, you know why I suggest this!
Sister Mary Agnes, pcc
The pound of nailing pierced the air. Fireshot through his limbs.
With gashes torn to drainhis life, yet arms spread out to all, our Lover was lifted, stretched upon a rack of pain.
Beneath the cross of crucifixion stood his mother Mary, there with full consent in transfixed heart to this and motherhood of sinful man, the whole of God’s intent.
Then from the tree of bitter death there came the sweetest song the heart of man has heard.
It sang the lengths God’s life would go to flame our own and share his life, to keep his word.
More love than thrust of lance that gave release to wellsprings of our pardon and our peace.
Why do we call it “good?”
This is Good Friday. That surprises many people, and sometimes they insist on calling it ‘Black Friday.” Of course there was grief and anxiety and fear for those first friends of Jesus who saw him die. But even though we try to enter in to that experience, try to “remember”, we can’t really do it. We know the end of the story. At the Passover, Jews also retell their central story – but not from the point of view of the fearful hours as they fled from Pharaoh, escaping into the darkness, but from the perspective of the triumph at the red sea, where they passed out from slavery into freedom.
So for us, re-membering this day of sorrow we can’t help but do what all Christians have done since the day of resurrection: We tell it from the perspective of what happened afterwards.
In every sorrow every suffering, every moment when we face violence or death, betrayal or see another’s grief, we know that God is with us, as God was with Jesus on that cross. We know the living Savior, even as we remember his death.
We do want to tell this story: No one had ever been as faithful to God as Jesus was. No one had ever seen into the heart of God as Jesus did. No one had ever been as determined to suffer violence rather than to inflict it. No one had ever understood as Jesus did that stubborn love, stubborn obedience, stubborn hope in God would triumph over evil. Jesus trusted that his willing death, never compromising truth even in the face of state-sanctioned murder, would lead to a newer and wider freedom from a deeper slavery than Egypt’s – and for all people.
That is why we remember this day with gladness. It is here, on the cross, that Jesus wins. It is here that he is first crowned king, by those who did not know what they did. It is here that the Romans put up the placard proclaiming his kingship – all the while mocking the reality. It is here that sin and death are defeated.
What you see is not always what you get. Unless you look very closely.