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Order of Service - 9th April 2004
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New Utrecht Reformed Church

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Good Friday Tenebrae Service 

A joint service with the Mirral Church

In gleeful, grisly scene, a difficult reality (St. Petersburg Times, Apr. 1, 2004)

Beneath the cross of Jesus 
E.C. Clephane, 1872

1. Beneath the cross of Jesus 
I fain would take my stand, 
The shadow of a mighty rock 
Within a weary land; 
A home within the wilderness, 
A rest upon the way, 
From the burning of the noontide heat 
And the burden of the day.

2. Upon that cross of Jesus 
Mine eye at times can see 
The very dying form of One 
Who suffered there for me; 
And from my smitten heart with tears 
Two wonders I confess, 
The wonders of His glorious love 
And my unworthiness.

3. I take, O Cross, thy shadow 
For my abiding place; 
I ask of no other sunshine than 
The sunshine of His face; 
Content to let the world go by, 
To know no gain or loss, 
My sinful self my only shame, 
My glory all the cross. Amen. 

Lyrics in Korean


THE FIRST MEDITATION: Luke 23:32-34 (English - Korean)


OOKING down into my father's
dead face for the last time
my mother said without
tears, without smiles,
without regrets
but with civility
"Good night, William Lee, I'll see you
in the morning."
And it was then I knew that the healing
of all our wounds
is forgiveness
that permits a promise
of our return
at the end.

Alice Walker

Were you there when they crucified my lord?
African-American Spiritual

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

4. Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

5. Were you there when He rose up from the dead?
Were you there when He rose up from the dead?
Oh! Sometimes I feel like shouting glory, glory, glory!
Were you there when He rose up from the dead?

Lyrics in Korean


THE SECOND MEDITATION: Matthew 27:45, 46 (English - Korean)

It is an affliction itself that the splendor of God's mercy shines, from its very depths, in the heart of its inconsolable bitterness. If still persevering in our love, we fall to the point where the soul cannot keep back the cry "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" If we remain at this point without ceasing to love, we end by touching something that is not affliction, not joy, something that is the central essence, necessary and pure, something not of the senses, common to joy and sorrow: the very love of God. 

We know then that joy is the sweetness of contact with the love of God, that affliction is the wound of this same contact when it is painful, and that only the contact matters, not the manner of it.

It is the same as when we see someone very dear to us after a long absence; the words we exchange with him do not matter, but only the sound of his voice, which assures us of his presence.

The knowledge of this presence of God does not afford consolation; it takes nothing from the fearful bitterness of affliction; nor does it heal the mutilation of the soul. But we know quite certainly that God's love for us is the very substance of this bitterness and this mutilation.

--From Waiting for God by Simone Weil

Isaiah 53:1-3 (in Korean)


THE THIRD MEDITATION: John 19:25-27 (English - Korean)

Lamentations 2:10-13 (English - Korean)

O Come and mourn with me a while
F. W. Faber, 1849

1. O come and mourn with me a while;
O come ye to the Saviour's side;
O come, together let us mourn:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified!

2. O break, O break, hard heart of mine!
Thy weak self-love and guilty pride
His Pilate and His Judas were:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified!

3. Seven times He spake, seven words of love;
In this dread act your strength is tried,
For mercy on the souls of men:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified!

4. O love of God, O sin of man!
In this dread act your strength is tried!
And victory remains with love
For He, our Love, is crucified!


THE FOURTH MEDITATION: Luke 23:35-43 (English - Korean)

Job 3:20-26 (English - Korean)

On a Hill far Away (The Old Rugged Cross) 
G. Bennard, 1913

1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

2. Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.

3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

4. To the old rugged cross, I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.


THE FIFTH MEDITATION: John 19:28, 29 (English - Korean)

None of this could be true. It was a nightmare..
Here there are no fathers, brothers, no friends.
Everyone lives and dies for himself...
Pieces of bread were being dropped to us...

I decided that I would not move...I knew that I would never have the strength to fight with a dozen savage men! Not far away I noticed an old man dragging himself on all fours...His eyes gleamed; a smile, like a grimace, lit up his dead face. A shadow had just loomed up near him. The shadow threw itself upon him. Felled to the ground, stunned with blows, the old man cried:

“Meir, Meir, my boy!”...His son searched him, took the bread, and began to devour it...
Two men hurled themselves upon him. Others joined in.

When they withdrew, next to me were two corpses, side by side, the father and the son.

Elie Wiesel, Night

Alas! and did my Saviour bleed?
Isaac Watts (1674-1748) From Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707

1. Alas! And did my Savior bleed,
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

2. Was it for crimes that I have done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

3. Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When Christ the mighty Maker died
For man, the creature’s sin.

4. But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
’Tis all that I can do. Amen.


THE SIXTH MEDITATION: John 19:30 (English - Korean)

Isaiah 53:4-6 (English - Korean)

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Isaac Watts, 1707; alt. Galatians 6:14; Philippians 3:7-8

1. When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

3. See, from his head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all. Amen.

Lyrics in Korean


THE SEVENTH MEDITATION: Luke 23:44-46 (English - Korean)



hat's the difficulty in these times: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to meet the horrible truth and be shattered.

It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

Anne Frank

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Medieval Latin, attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153)
German paraphrase by Paul Gerhardt, 1656
Translated by James W. Alexander, 1830; alt.
Isaiah 53; John 19:1-3

1. O sacred Head, now wounded 
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded 
With thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish, 
With sore abuse and scorn!
How does your visage languish 
Which once was bright as morn!

2. What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered 
Was all for sinners’ gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression, 
But Thine the deadly pain;
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! 
'Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, 
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

3. What language shall I borrow 
To thank Thee, dearest Friend;
For this Thy dying sorrow, 
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, 
And should I fainting be,
Look, let me never, never 
Outlive my love to Thee. Amen.

Lyrics in Korean

News - 4th April 2004


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