Friday, March 29, 2013

The Litany of the Cross

Tonight during worship, the pastor set 3 nails into a large wooden cross.  Members of the congregation were invited forward, and each one was given the opportunity to pick up a mallet and drive the nail deeper into the wood.  We could all feel the hesitation - the discomfort with acceptance of an invitation to admit guilt, to share in the crucifixion of Jesus.  One by one we went forward.  One by one, "bang, bang, bang" echoed through the sanctuary.

On a day in 1989, the bishop placed a plain white cross in front of the altar.  Members of the congregation were invited forward, and each one was given the opportunity to pick up a black marker and write a sin upon the cross.  This was an act of confession - a confession of the sins that existed in El Salvador: hunger, persecution, violence.  Later that year, the cross was seized by the military as evidence of subversion, and the cross became known as "The Subversive Cross."

The following litany is based on words written a few years ago by Bishop Medardo Gomez.


THE SUBVERSIVE CROSS LITANY

based upon the words of Bishop Medardo G├│mez

Leader:  There is no greater injustice than the one that Jesus suffered in the cross,
People:  No greater suffering, no greater treason, no greater pain.

L:  The Cross is the symbol of the liberation of God.
P:  There is no greater sign of the salvation story than the Cross of Christ.

L:  The Cross was an instrument of Roman punishment;
P:  but as the tool of crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Cross was transformed,

L:  becoming the Cross of Love,
P: The Cross of Faith, the Cross of Hope.

L:  In the presence of the Crucified One, we find consolation,
P:  a refuge from our pains and our worries.

L:  Where there is a Cross, there is a place for prayer
P:  and a place where we can cry out for divine aid.

L:  The sins of the world, all the sins committed by humanity are written in the cross
P:  and for that reason, the Lamb of God was sacrificed.

L:  Before the eyes of evil, the Cross of Jesus is subversive,
P:  because it denounces to the powerful ones, to the rich ones, to the poor
ones, to all men and women … their sins.

L: The Cross means life
P: and has a mission against death and all the projects of death.




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