world council of churches


In response to the human tragedies faced around the world during this Easter season,
we offer this prayer, prepared by WCC worship staff, for use in personal or congregational worship,
particularly in the context of Good Friday:

(Based on Isaiah 53)

We are astonished, God,
their appearance is marred beyond human semblance.
They are despised and rejected,
the sorrowful, acquainted with grief.
We hide our faces from them.
They are despised. The world esteems them not.

Have they borne our griefs?
Have they carried our sorrows?
We esteemed them stricken, smitten, and afflicted.
Are they wounded for our transgressions
and bruised for our iniquities?
Does this chastisement make us whole?
Do these stripes heal?

Like sheep we have gone astray,
we have turned every one to our own way.

They are oppressed and afflicted.
They open not their mouth,

with shock,
with terror
with hunger
with loss.
They are cut off out of the land of the living.
Is it for the transgression of your people?
They lie dead without graves
although they have done no violence.

Is it your will, O God, to bruise them,
to put them to grief?
Will this make many righteous?
Will this bear the sin of many?
Will there be some intercession for the transgressors?

Hear us, God,
we pray for an end to the suffering,
through Jesus Christ your suffering servant.

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