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Lindemann on Good Friday

by revalkorn ~ April 14th, 2011


The earliest name for this day is Pascha and refers to the Jewish Pass-over celebrated at this time. Other names were Day of the Lord’s Passion, Day of the Absolution, and Day of the Cross. The name Good Friday is a peculiarly English expression and reflects the joy of completed redemption and protests against the notion that this day must be shrouded in funereal gloom. It has always been a day of the greatest solemnity and most devoted religious observance, usually simple and shorn of anything that might contribute a festal tone. Hymns of Lutheran origin do not bewail the sufferings of Christ but rather solemnly rejoice that “with His stripes we are healed.” The appointments of the Church of the Reformation look to the use of this day as one of the most high and solemn praise. Traditionally the Holy Communion is not celebrated. When the Mass of the Presanctified was abolished, this rite was replaced by a complete celebration in some areas, while in others by antecommunion. However, there are many who believe that the appointments of the Church of the Reformation presuppose the Celebration and regard it as a distinct heritage. They ask: What better day than this on which to unite in the memorial of the Passion and in proclaiming the Lord’s death (1 Cor. 11:26)? The Gloria in Excelsis and the Alleluias would be omitted, of course, but not the Sanctus and Benedictus. If there is a celebration, it should be complete. If there is merely antecommunion, it should conform to the rubrics of the rite. By ancient usage the Bidding Prayer was specially appointed for this day. The message of the Propers is solemn but uplifting. The three Collects reach from the foot of the Cross to the throne of grace.

The Introit. “Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried out sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. All we like sheep have gone astray; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto Thee.”

A rubric states: “Or the Introit for Tuesday of Holy Week may be used.”

The Collect. “Almighty God, we beseech Thee graciously to behold this Thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed and given up into the hands of wicked men and to suffer death upon the cross; through the same Jesus Christ,” etc.

Two other Collects, from the Saxon Church Order, 1539, are offered:

“Merciful and Everlasting God, who hast not spared Thine only Son, but delivered Him up for us all that He might bear our sins upon the Cross, grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in Him that we may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the same Jesus Christ,” etc.

“Almighty and Everlasting God, who hast willed that Thy Son should bear for us the pains of the Cross that Thou mightest remove from us the power of the adversary, help us so to remember and give thanks for our Lord’s Passion that we may obtain remission of sins and redemption from everlasting death; through the same,” etc.

The Epistle (Is. 52:13-53:12).

The Gradual. Tract: “Reproach hath broken My heart, and I am full of heaviness. And I looked for some to take pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me, where-with the Lord hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.”

The Proper Sentence. “Christ hath humbled Himself and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

The Gospel (St. John 18:1-19:42) or the Passion History.

The Proper Preface. “Who on the tree of the cross didst give salvation unto mankind that, whence death arose, thence life also might rise again; and that he who by a tree once overcame likewise by a tree be overcome, through Christ, our Lord; through whom with angels,” etc.

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