Seven Last Words


Led by Jean Stokes, Reflections adapted from Rev Richard Fairchild, read by Shirley Sinclair, The Seven Last Words read by Jim Knott. The complete audio is here and for those who need it, the reflection texts are here.

Let us pray.

All    Merciful God – as we remember how your son Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross, how seven times he spoke, seven words of love, we ask you to bless our hearing.

Father, as we recall how your Son Jesus cried for mercy on the souls of all, we ask you to help us to understand the mystery of your love, and make us into a people who are ever more worthy of it.

All    Amen.

The First Word – Luke 23:33-34

When they came to the place called “The Skull”, they nailed Jesus to the cross there, and the two criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said ” Father, forgive them! They do not know what they are doing.”

Meditation on the first word followed by silence.

Lord Jesus – you gave your life for us.
All    You suffered and died that we might be made whole.

The Second Word – Luke 23:39-43

One of the criminals hanging there threw insults at him:

“Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” The other one, however, rebuked him, saying: “Don’t you fear God? Here we are all under the same sentence. Ours, however, is only right, for we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!” Jesus said to him, “I tell you this: Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Meditation on the second word followed by silence.

Lord Jesus – you gave your life for us.
All    You suffered and died that we might be made whole.

Taizé chant

          Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,
          Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

          Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,
          Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

          Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,
          Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

The Third Word – John 19:25-27

Standing close to Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time the disciple took her to live in his home.

Meditation on the third word followed by silence.

Lord Jesus – you gave your life for us.
All    You suffered and died that we might be made whole.

The Fourth Word – Mark 15:33-34

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Elo-i, elo-i, lama sabach-thani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Meditation on the fourth word followed by silence.

Lord Jesus – you gave your life for us.
All    You suffered and died that we might be made whole.

The Fifth Word – John 19:28

After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), “I thirst.”

Meditation on the fifth word followed by silence.

Lord Jesus – you gave your life for us.
All    You suffered and died that we might be made whole.

The Sixth Word – John 19:29-30

A bowl was there, full of cheap wine mixed with vinegar, so a sponge was soaked in it, put on a stalk of hyssop and lifted up to his lips.

When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished”.

Meditation on the sixth word followed by silence.

Lord Jesus – you gave your life for us.
All    You suffered and died that we might be made whole.

Hymn

Sung by the Revd Ally Barrett

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? 

Were you there when He died upon the cross?
Were you there when He died upon the cross
?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when He died upon the cross

The Seventh Word – Luke 23:46

Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!”

And having said this he breathed his last.

Meditation on the seventh word followed by silence.

Lord Jesus – you gave your life for us.
All    You suffered and died that we might be made whole.

Responsive Reading

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. 

All    But he was wounded for our transgressions and he was bruised for our iniquities. Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole.

All we like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.

All    He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death, although he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Isaiah 53-4-6,9

Lord God, you have given us everything.
All    You have not held anything back. 

Help us in like manner to give of ourselves.
All    Sanctify us in Christ’s name.

Bless us and all that we think, feel, say and do,
so that we, like Jesus, may be a blessing unto others.

We ask this through him, saying together the prayer that he taught us
All    Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.  Amen.

Dismissal

Depart now in peace – and may the Spirit of Christ go with you, may his faith and trust abide within you, and may the knowledge of his love support you now and forevermore.
All    Amen.

Sung by the Revd Ally Barrett