Good Friday PrayerGood Friday Prayer
can refer to any of the prayers prayed by Christians
on Good Friday
, the Friday before Easter
, or to all such prayers collectively. However, some writers use the term "Good Friday Prayer" to refer to a specific portion from a litany (prayer of petition) that is offered in certain churches on that day. Before the reforms introduced by the Second Vatican Council
, the particular form of the prayer offered in Roman Catholic churcheses
ran like this (please note particularly the middle paragraph):
- Let us pray also for heretics and schismatics: that our Lord and God would be pleased to rescue them from their errors; and recall them to our holy mother the Catholic and Apostolic Christian. Let us pray. Let us kneel. (Arise.) Almighty and eternal God, Who savest all, and wouldest that no one should perish: look on the souls that are led astray by the deceit of the devil: that having set aside all heretical evil, the hearts of those that err may repent and return to the unity of Thy truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, through all endless ages. Amen.
- Let us pray also for the perfidious Jews: that our God and Lord may remove the veil from their hearts; that they also may acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray. Let us kneel. (Arise.) Almighty and Eternal God, Who dost not exclude from Thy mercy even the perfidious Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of Thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, through all endless ages. Amen.
- Let us pray also for the pagans: that Almighty God take away iniquity from their hearts: that leaving aside their idols they may be converted to the true and living God, and His only Son, Jesus Christ our God and Lord. Let us pray. Let us kneel. (Arise.) Almighty and Eternal God, Who seekest always, not the death, but the life of sinners: mercifully hear our prayer, and deliver them from the worship of idols: and admit them into Thy holy Church for the praise and glory of Thy Name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, through all endless ages. Amen.
Perhaps recognizing some possible dangers of referring to the Jews in this way, the Catholic church has now revised this petition, and one modern Good Friday Prayer in English runs like this:
- Let us pray for God's ancient people, the Jews, the first to hear his word: for greater understanding between Christian and Jew; for the removal of our blindness and bitterness of heart; that God will grant us grace to be faithful to his covenant and to grow in the love of his name. (Silent prayer.) Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us. Lord God of Abraham, bless the children of your covenant, both Jew and Christian; take from us all blindness and bitterness of heart, and hasten the coming of your kingdom, when Israel shall be saved, the Gentiles gathered in, and we shall dwell together in mutual love and peace under the one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
form of the prayer ran like this:
- O merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest [wantest] the death of any sinner, but rather that he be converted and live; Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen. (Older editions of The Book of Common Prayer.)
Latin text of the older and less ecumenical Catholic prayers
Oremus et pro hæreticis et schismaticis: ut Deus et Dominus noster eruat eos ab erroribus universis; et ad sanctam matrem Eclesiam catholicam atque apostolicam revocare dignetur. Oremus. Flectamus genua. (Levate.) Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui salvas omnes, et neminem vis perire: respice ad animas diabolica fraude deceptas; ut, omni hæretica pravitate deposita, errantium corda resipiscant, et ad veritatis tuæ redeant unitatem. Per Christum Dominum nostrum qui vivit et regnat cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus sancti per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.
Oremus et pro perfidis Judæis: ut Deus et Dominus noster auferat velamen de cordibus eorum; ut et ipsi agnoscant Jesum Christum, Dominum nostrum. Oremus. Flectamus genua. (Levate.) Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui etiam Judaicam perfidiam a tua miscericordia non repellis: exaudi preces nostras, quas pro illius populi obcaecatione deferimus; ut, agnita veritatis tuae luce, quae Christus est, a suis tenebris eruantur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum qui vivit et regnat cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus sancti per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.
Oremus et pro paganis: ut Deus omnipotens auferat iniquitatem a cordibus eorum;ut, relictis idolis suis, convertantur ad Deum vivum et verum, et unicum Filium ejus Jesum Christum, Deum et Dominum nostrum. Oremus. Flectamus genua. (Levate.) Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui non mortem peccatorum, sed vitam semper inquiris suscipe propitius orationem nostram, et libera eos ab idolorum cultura; et aggrega Ecclesiæ tuæ sanctæ, ad laudem et gloriam nominis tui. Per Christum Dominum nostrum qui vivit et regnat cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus sancti per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.
See also: Christian anti-Semitism