When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb.
Death of the Earth
“The heavens grow thin like smoke, the earth wears out like a garment, and its inhabitants die like flies.” Isaiah 51:6
“We live in an imbalance, degrading the planet without the capacity to hear its cries of anguish and anger.” -Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth.
“A man dressed in a hooded outfit was beating the ground itself with a large fir branch, scourging the Earth. He addressed us and told us he destroys what he does not understand. The whipping brought back memories of Jesus’ being scourged at the pillar… then participants took a map of the Earth and nailed its four corners to a cross and erected the cross on the top of the sand dune as the wind howled through us. With the nailing to the cross, the pounding echoing along the beach, the… memory of Jesus crucified awakened. Participants wailed– even those who had never heard of this medieval prayer (the Stations of the Cross) imbibed the message. The wailing was spontaneous. Silence followed …” -Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality.
“It seems as if humankind is at war with the natural world. The good news and the bad news is that we are winning. The tragedy is that by winning, we lose.” -Timothy Weiskel
“For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” Matt. 16: 25
Let us Pray:
O God, your blessed Child was laid in a tomb in a garden, and rested on the Sabbath day: Grant that we who are buried with your Child in the dark emptiness of the dominion of sin and death may be delivered into the light of the resurrection and become the co-creators of your eternal and joyous realm of compassion, where Christ lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
A final meditation, waiting for Easter.
(All station artwork was produced by members of the Vanderbilt Divinity community from found and reclaimed objects. Liturgy adapted from St. Brendan the Navigator Episcopal Church, Stonington, Maine, 1993. The original version of this liturgy can be found at earthministry.org)