Passiontide and Holy Week in climate emergency

Passiontide is a kind of intensification of Lent. It begins on the Sunday before Palm Sunday and takes us up to Easter Sunday. The focus is on the passion and crucifixion of Christ. During this time our prayers reflect the suffering and death of Christ.

Our hearts tell of your Word, O God, “Seek my face”.
Your face, Lord, will we seek [i]
What is it that we seek?
We seek God’s heart and holiness.
Let’s seek with all our reflecting
Amen. God be our vision.
Let’s seek with all our attentiveness
Amen. God be our centre
Let’s seek with all our valuing
Amen. God be our wisdom.

On the cross, Jesus framed fracturing-life’s ebb with words from scripture, may we frame our lives’ ends primed by God’s lore.

Psalms and readings. There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection.

A framework for reflection can be found here.

Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow him.

…. pause for consideration

Lord, we believe,
help us in our unbelief.

The Canticle below, or some other, may be said.

The message of the cross
is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved
it is the power of God.
For since, in the wisdom of God,
the world did not know God through wisdom,
God decided to save those who believe, through the foolishness of our proclamation,
For some demand signs

and others desire wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling-block to some

and foolishness to others.
But to those who are the called,
Christ is the power of God

and the wisdom of God.
For God’s foolishness

is wiser than human wisdom,
and God’s weakness

is stronger than human strength.[ii]

O God, you so loved us, that you gave your only begotten so that we might not perish but have eternal life: long-suffering God, slow to anger, unlimited in grace and infinite in mercy,
Father in heaven
Hallowed be your name.

Thanks and praise may be shared…

For the joy you set before him, Jesus endured betrayal, grandstanding, the little collusions and the small infidelities that set you at cross purposes to the ways of the world. As we dare to intercede for a breaking world, we fear that our human agendas and ideas fall short of true wisdom. So we ask not for our will but yours to be done.

After each petition below, there may be a pause for further related prayers, silently or aloud.

it is worth reading them with climate and environmental emergency in mind: the effects and causes are captured in each bidding.

For the misled and the disregarded, not our will
but your will be done.
For the elites and powerful, leading us to breakdown, not our will
but your will be done.
For the exploiters of others, not our will
but your will be done.
For the fearful and weak, not our will
but your will be done.
For the cynical and world-weary, tired of lies and self-serving leadership, not our will
but your will be done.
For the blindly pious and those who use religion to oppress or exploit, not our will
but your will be done.
For those just doing their jobs but suffering the moral injury of co-option into wrongdoing, not our will
but your will be done.
For the helpless and the hopeless, not our will
but your will be done.
For the despairing and crushed in spirit, not our will
but your will be done.
And we ask in hope that our prayerful imaginings may grow into God’s, as we consider the forces in our times still arrayed for woe and for ill.
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as in heaven.

… prayers, petitions and requests to God, silently or aloud. Some daily prompts here, and here.

There is bread enough for all to share and though our sharing is flawed and misdirected by greed, we ask that all may be the haves, and none the have-nots.

Your kingdom come, your will be done:
Give us each day our morrowly bread.

Prayers for needs may be voiced….

Seeking first your kingdom and righteousness
May all things needful be added to us.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.[iii]

We confess with sorrow that we have collaborated with the fallen powers of this world knowingly or unwittingly deliberately or from fearful weakness.
We are mortified.
We repent in dust and ashes.
We turn afresh to the way of Christ,
the way of the cross
the way of life-giving wisdom.
Heal us and we shall be healed.
Save us and we shall be saved.
We hear with hope Jesus’ words: ‘Forgive them’.

Make us instruments of your peace:
and let your glory be over all the earth.
…pause to reflect on the coming day…
Tempted to resign ourselves to the way of the world:
Give us fresh vision and graciousness.
Pressured towards unwise compromise:
Strengthen our resolve.
Trialled by the grind of human frailties:
Teach us to remember our own.

[i] Psalm 27:8

[ii] 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

[iii] Psalm139:23-4

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