The Lamentations of Good Friday are both sad and hopeful. The male chanter chants from Psalm 118/119 recalling Jesus’ obedient life, while the female chanter laments Jesus’ death. The Lamentations of Good Friday were sung in all Eastern Orthodox churches the evening of April 6. To close one’s eyes and allow the words and rhythm of the chant to draw one in is to enter in part in to the sorrows Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, John the Apostle and the other disciples must have felt the night after Jesus had been laid in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea.
“There is no time yours but the present time, no day yours but the present day; therefore, do not please and feed yourselves with hopes of time to come; that you will repent, but not yet; and lay hold on mercy, but not yet; and give yourselves up to the Lord next week, next month, next year; for that [same] God who has promised you mercy and favor upon the day of your return [to him], has not promised to prolong your lives till that day comes.” — Thomas Brooks
“True grace will enable a man to step over the world’s crown to take up Christ’s cross; to prefer the cross of Christ above the glory of the world. Godfrey, first king of Jerusalem, refused to be crowned with a crown of gold, saying that it was not becoming of a Christian there to wear a crown of gold where Christ had worn a crown of thorns”. Thomas Brooks, from Smooth Stones taken from Old Brooks, pg. 46
“Much of a Christians spiritual strength lies in secret prayer, as Samson’s did in his hair. Nothing disarms Satan and disarms sin like this. Secret prayers are the pillars of smoke wherein the soul ascends to God out of the wilderness of this world. Secret prayer is Jacob’s ladder, where you have God descending into the soul, and the soul sweetly ascending to God. Secret meals are very fattening, and secret duties are very soul enriching.” Thomas Brooks
“Sin turns all God’s grace into wantonness; it is the dare of His justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, the contempt of His love…Take heed of giving yourself the liberty of committing one sin, for that will lead to another; till, by an ill custom, it becomes natural.”
Dying Sayings of John Bunyan