The Seven Last Words of Christ

14277146_mlThe seven “last words” of Christ from the Cross (with various prayers reprinted by permission from The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004, CRC Publications.)

1) “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Loving Father, to whom your crucified Son prayed
for the forgiveness of those who did not know what they were doing,
grant that we too may be included in that prayer.
Whether we sin out of ignorance or intention,
be merciful to us and grant us your acceptance and peace.

2) “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
O Lord Jesus Christ, who promised to the repentant the joy of paradise,
enable us by the Holy Spirit to repent and to receive
your grace in this world and in the world to come.

3) “Woman, behold your son . . . Behold your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
O blessed Savior, in your hour of greatest suffering
you expressed compassion for your mother
and made arrangements for her care;
grant that we who seek to follow your example
may show our concern for the needs of others,
reaching out to provide for those who suffer.

4) “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)
O Lord, I call for help by day, and in the night I still must cry.
Regard me, listen to my prayer. My soul is troubled; I am weak.
Without You, I am cut off as one whom you forsake,
forgotten near the pit of death.
Without You, Your wrath weighs heavily on me.
And my eyes are dim because I weep.
Without You, the darkness is my closest friend—
I am shunned and forsaken, all alone, without You.

5) “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
O blessed Savior, whose lips were dry and whose throat was parched,
grant us the water of life, that we who thirst after righteousness
may find it quenched by your love and mercy,
leading us to bring this same relief to others.

6) “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
O Lord Jesus Christ, you finished the work that you were sent to do;
enable us by your Holy Spirit to be faithful to our call.
Grant us strength to bear our crosses
and endure our sufferings, even unto death.
Enable us to live and love so faithfully
that we also become good news to the world, joining your witness.

7) “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
Father, into whose hands your Son, Jesus Christ, commended his spirit,
grant that we too, following his example,
may in all of life and at the moment of our death
entrust our lives into your faithful hands of love.
In the name of Jesus, who gave his life for us all. Amen.

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