Prayers for Holy Week meditation

Among the many liturgical treasures in the (under-utilized) United Methodist Book of Worship are the prayers for Holy Week (these prayers are sometimes called "collects" - because they "collect" together the needs of the faithful community into a single prayer).  The Collects for Monday-Thursday are found in one section together in the Book of Worship (346-349) and those for Friday and Saturday are on pages 362 and 367, respectively.  In keeping with that larger Anglican liturgical heritage that we Methodists have preserved and adapted in our official worship books, most of these are taken from or inspired by The Book of Common Prayer, which was so beloved by John and Charles Wesley.

There are also alternative prayers for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday in the Hymnal.

Monday of Holy Week
God of strength and mercy, by the suffering and death of your Son, free us from slavery to sin and death and protect us in all our weakness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Tuesday of Holy Week
Holy and compassionate God, your dear Son went not up to joy before he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified.  Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross may find it the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Savior.  Amen.

Wednesday of Holy Week
Most merciful God, your blessed Son, our Savior, was betrayed, whipped, and his face spat upon.  Grant us grace to endure the sufferings of the present time, to overcome all that seeks to overwhelm us, confident of the glory that shall yet be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.  Amen.

Holy Thursday
O God, by the example of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, you taught us the greatness of true humility, and call us to watch with him in his passion.  Give us grace to serve one another in all lowliness, and to enter into the fellowship of his suffering; in his name and for his sake.  Amen.

Good Friday
Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross so that he might draw the whole world to himself.  Grant that we, who glory in this death for our salvation, may also glory in his call to take up our cross and follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Holy Saturday
Merciful and everliving God, Creator of heaven and earth, the crucified body of your Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy day.  Grant that we may await with him the dawning of the third day and rise in newness of life, through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.  Amen.

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