YOU HAVE RAISED THE FALLEN

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Opening Prayer

Psalm 143 NJB

A psalm of David.

O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.

Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.

The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead.

So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.

I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.

I spread out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah

Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD,
for I hide myself in you.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

TEXT

John 19:31-42 ESV

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

 

Read

You were sold and betrayed that I might be freed, I who was enslaved. You were bound that my bonds might be broken. You submitted to an unjust trial – You Who are the judge of all the earth – that I might be freed from eternal judgement. You were made naked in order to clothe me in the robes of salvation, in the garments of gladness. You were crowned with thorns that I might receive the crown of life. You were called King in mockery – You, the King of all! – to open the kingdom of heaven for me…Master! You have found Your lost sheep, my shepherd! You have called the one who had been rejected; You have released the one who was in chains, O my Liberator! You have restored to life the one who was dead, O my Life! You have raised the fallen one, O my strength.

— Tikhon of Zadonsk, Confession and Thanksgiving

 

Prayer of Response

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

—St. Ephrem

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