Updated: Mar 28, 2021
March 28, 2021
Celebrant: Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
People: His mercy endures for ever.
Almighty and everlasting God, in your tender love for us you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon himself our nature, and to suffer death upon the Cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and come to share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
THE LESSONS (Please read and reflect on the Lessons prior to the Spiritual Communion Zoom Gathering. We will offer the Passion Narrative according to Mark during our time together.)
FIRST LESSON: A Reading from Isaiah 52:13-53:12
He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;[a] he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.
14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
15 so shall he sprinkle[b] many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?[c] And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;[i] when his soul makes[j] an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[k] and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,[l] and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,[m] because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, *
and are so far from my cry, and from the words of my complaint?
2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not hear; *
in the night season also, but I find no rest.
3 But you remain holy, *
enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers hoped in you; *
they trusted in you, and you delivered them.
5 They called upon you, and were delivered; *
they put their trust in you, and were not confounded.
6 But as for me, I am a worm, and no man, *
scorned by all, and the outcast of the people.
7 All those who see me laugh me to scorn; *
they curl their lips, and shake their heads, saying,
8 “He trusted in God, that he would deliver him; *
let him deliver him, if he will have him.”
9 But you are he that took me out of my mother’s womb; *
you were my hope, when I was yet upon my mother’s breasts.
10 I have been cast upon you ever since I was born; *
you are my God, even from my mother’s womb.
11 O go not far from me, for trouble is near at hand, *
and there is none to help me.
12 Many oxen have come around me; *
fat bulls of Bashan close me in on every side.
13 They gape at me with their mouths, *
like a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; *
my heart also in the midst of my body is like melting wax.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my gums, *
and you bring me into the dust of death.
16 For many dogs have come about me, *
and the council of the wicked lays siege against me.
17 They pierced my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones; *
they stand staring and looking upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, *
and casts lots for my clothing.
19 But be not far from me, O Lord. *
You are my succor; hasten to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword, *
my life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth, *
and my soul in misery from among the horns of wild oxen.
22 I will declare your Name to my brethren; *
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
23 O praise the Lord, you that fear him; *
magnify him, all you seed of Jacob, and fear him, all you seed of Israel.
24 For he has not despised nor abhorred the low estate of the poor; *
he has not hidden his face from him, but when he called unto him, he heard him.
25 My praise is of you in the great congregation; *
my vows will I perform in the sight of those who fear him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; *
those who seek after the Lord shall praise him; may your hearts live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember, and be turned unto the Lord, *
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s, *
and he is the Governor among the peoples.
29 All those who sleep in the earth, how shall they worship him? *
All those who go down into the dust, how shall they kneel before him?
30 But my life shall be preserved in his sight, and my children shall worship him; *
they shall tell of the Lord to the generations to come;
31 And to a people yet unborn shall they declare his righteousness, *
that he has brought it to pass.
SECOND LESSON: Philippians 2:5-11
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
GOSPEL: Mark 14:32-72; Mark 15:1-47
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”[a] 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant[b] of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.
A Young Man Flees
51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
Jesus Before the Council
53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council[c] were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying,58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”[d] 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
Peter Denies Jesus
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway[e] and the rooster crowed.[f] 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.[g]
15 And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.
Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified
6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged[a] Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Jesus Is Mocked
16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters),[b] and they called together the whole battalion.[c] 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
21 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour[d] when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.[e] 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
The Death of Jesus
33 And when the sixth hour[f] had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.[g] 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he[h] breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son[i] of God!”
40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
Jesus Is Buried
42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died.[j] And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph[k] bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Response: Praise to you, Lord Christ.
Celebrant: Let us confess our faith in the words of the Apostle’s Creed
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Celebrant: PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
In your own words, pray for your own needs, for those on your heart, for the peace of
the world, and for the Church.
Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to your never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that you are doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Celebrant: ACT OF CONTRITION
Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God:
O GOD, We are VERY SORRY that we have sinned against you and for all the wrongs we have done and the good we have not done.
Take a moment in silence to share your confession to God with these words in your heart:
Especially I confess_______________________________.
Everyone: Forgive us for Jesus' sake, and grant us strength and wisdom to amend our
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,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen
Dear Jesus, we believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament. We love you above all things, and we desire to possess you within our souls. And since we cannot now receive you sacramentally, we beseech you to come spiritually into our hearts. We unite ourselves to you, together with all your faithful people gathered around every altar of your Church, and we embrace you with all the affections of our souls. Never permit us to be separated from you. Amen.
AND MAY THE PEACE OF GOD, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you now and always, Amen.
SOUL of Christ, sanctify me Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me Water from the side of Christ, wash me Passion of Christ, strengthen me O good Jesus, hear me Within Thy wounds, hide me Separated from Thee let me never be From the malignant enemy, defend me At the hour of death, call me To come to Thee, bid me That I may praise Thee in the company Of Thy Saints for all eternity. Amen.
The Passion Narrative According to Mark
The Passion Gospel is read in parts led by a narrator who begins by saying: The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark.
NARRATOR: It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The
chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth
and kill him; for they said,
CHIEF PRIESTS: "Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people."
NARRATOR: While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table,
a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she
broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there
who said to one another in anger,
DISCIPLES: "Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been
sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor."
NARRATOR: And they scolded her. But Jesus said,
JESUS: "Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for
me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them
whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she
could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you,
wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done
will be told in remembrance of her."
NARRATOR: Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in
order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and
promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is
sacrificed, his disciples said to him,
DISCIPLES: "Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the
NARRATOR: So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,
JESUS: "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and
wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, `The Teacher asks, Where is
my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' He will show
you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there."
NARRATOR: So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had
told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their
places and were eating, Jesus said,
JESUS: "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me."
NARRATOR: They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another,
DISCIPLES: "Surely, not I?"
NARRATOR: He said to them,
JESUS: "It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the
Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of
Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born."
NARRATOR: While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it,
gave it to them, and said,
JESUS: "Take; this is my body."
NARRATOR: Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them
drank from it. He said to them,
JESUS: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you,
I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in
the kingdom of God."
NARRATOR: When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus
said to them,
JESUS: "You will all become deserters; for it is written, `I will strike the shepherd, and
the sheep will be scattered.' But after I am raised up, I will go before you to
NARRATOR: Peter said to him,
PETER: "Even though all become deserters, I will not."
NARRATOR: Jesus said to him,
JESUS: "Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will
deny me three times."
NARRATOR: But he said vehemently,
PETER: "Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you."
NARRATOR: And all of them said the same.
They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples,
JESUS: "Sit here while I pray."
NARRATOR: He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and
agitated. And said to them,
JESUS: "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake."
NARRATOR: And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it
were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said,
JESUS: "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not
what I want, but what you want."
NARRATOR: He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter,
JESUS: "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and
pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but
the flesh is weak."
NARRATOR: And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more
he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did
not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them,
JESUS: "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the
Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See,
my betrayer is at hand."
NARRATOR: Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and
with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the
scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying,
JUDAS: "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."
NARRATOR: So when he came, he went up to him at once and said,
NARRATOR: and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those
who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting
off his ear. Then Jesus said to them,
JESUS: "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a
bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not
arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled."
NARRATOR: All of them deserted him and fled.
A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They
caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.
They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the
scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the
courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself
at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for
testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many
gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some
stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying,
ACCUSERS: "We heard him say, `I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in
three days I will build another, not made with hands.'"
NARRATOR: But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood
up before them and asked Jesus,
HIGH PRIEST: "Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?"
NARRATOR: But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him,
HIGH PRIEST: "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?"
NARRATOR: Jesus said,
JESUS: "I am; and `you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,'
and `coming with the clouds of heaven.'"
NARRATOR: Then the high priest tore his clothes and said,
HIGH PRIEST: "Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your
NARRATOR: All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to
blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him,
NARRATOR: The guards also took him over and beat him.
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high
priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and
SERVANT GIRL: "You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth."
NARRATOR: But he denied it, saying,
PETER: "I do not know or understand what you are talking about."
NARRATOR: And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. And the servant-girl,
on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders,
SERVANT GIRL: "This man is one of them."
NARRATOR: But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to
BYSTANDERS: "Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean."
NARRATOR: But he began to curse, and he swore an oath,
PETER: "I do not know this man you are talking about."
NARRATOR: At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered
that Jesus had said to him,
JESUS: "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times."
NARRATOR: And he broke down and wept.]
NARRATOR: As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders
and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and
handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him,
PILATE: "Are you the King of the Jews?"
NARRATOR: He answered him,
JESUS: "You say so."
NARRATOR: Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again,
PILATE: "Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you."
NARRATOR: But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom
they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had
committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to
ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them,
PILATE: "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"
NARRATOR: For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him
over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for
them instead. Pilate spoke to them again,
PILATE: "Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?"
NARRATOR: They shouted back,
CROWD: "Crucify him!"
NARRATOR: Pilate asked them,
PILATE: "Why, what evil has he done?"
NARRATOR: But they shouted all the more,
CROWD: "Crucify him!"
NARRATOR: So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after
flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor's
headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him
in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.
And they began saluting him,
SOLDIERS: "Hail, King of the Jews!"
NARRATOR: They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to
him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own
clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
(At the mention of Golgotha, all stand as able.)
They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his
cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they
brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).
And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they
crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what
each should take.
It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of
the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews." And with him they crucified
two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided
him, shaking their heads and saying,
BYSTANDERS: "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save
yourself, and come down from the cross!"
NARRATOR: In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also
mocking him among themselves and saying,
CHIEF PRIESTS: "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of
Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe."
NARRATOR: Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the
afternoon. At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice,
JESUS: "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?"
NARRATOR: which means,
JESUS: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
NARRATOR: When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,
BYSTANDERS: "Listen, he is calling for Elijah."
NARRATOR: And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to
him to drink, saying,
BYSTANDERS: "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down."
NARRATOR: Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple
was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing
him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said,
CENTURION: "Truly this man was God's Son!"
NARRATOR: There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary
Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and
Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee;
and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the
day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the
council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went
boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he
were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he
had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was
dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and
taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that
had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the
tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was
DISCUSSION THEMES to PONDER
1- The Collect describes God's "tender love" revealed in Jesus' taking on our nature and suffering death upon the Cross. Consider his "tender love" and humility in :
a) becoming incarnate in an apparently scandalous way,
b) his birth in a stable,
c) his death in the manner of a slave (Romans were beheaded, Jews were stoned; slaves and foreigners or non-citizens were crucified).
2- In the Gospel, it is clear that many of the leading Jews wanted Jesus dead because of what was assumed to be his blasphemy in identifying himself with God. Earlier, their objections had been focused on his presumed rejection of the Law.
3- In Gethsemane, and again from the Cross, Jesus expressed what sounds like abandonment from the Father. This is critical for his assumption of our human experience since the Fall.