Liturgy of Sorrows with Passion of the Christ Image

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

...surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:20

Prayer for Entering a Liturgy of Sorrows

Dear Jesus, we thank you for your promise to never leave us or forsake us.

Let us continue by reading the prophecy from Isaiah 53 about Jesus, who took our sorrows and sins upon Himself that we may have healing and freedom.

We thank you for your promise to comfort us when we mourn.

We want to now bring before you our grief and our losses.

Please help us to find more healing and wholeness through this time of sorrow and mourning.

In thy holy name Lord Jesus we pray. Amen.

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,

yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?

For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Tasting of the Salt Water

During this time we taste of the saltwater that we have prepared beforehand to remind us of tears and reflect upon our sorrows and the sorrows of Jesus.

May this be our prayer, LORD...

May your tears become our tears just as our tears became your tears.

Psalms of Healing

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.

Psalm 25:16-17

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Taste the Honey

Although we have sorrow and grief, we remember that there is a Balm in Gilead, there is healing in the LORD. We taste the honey to be reminded of this sweetness and healing from the LORD.

Prayer for Ending a Liturgy of Sorrows

Dear Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we thank you for this time we have had to mourn.

We trust that you will use this time to help us find comfort and healing if we have not already found that during this time.

We thank you for your sacrifice on the cross, Lord Jesus, that makes our healing and our forgiveness possible.

We thank you for the hope of life eternal with you because of your sacrifice.

All this we pray in thy holy name, Lord Jesus, with praise and thanksgiving. Amen.

Stopwatch for Timing


The ultimate purpose of the Liturgy of Sorrows is to find deeper healing and wholeness. We do this by reflecting on our own lives and by reflecting on the life and sacrifice of Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, and what He endured so that we could have that deeper healing and wholeness.


In preparation for the Liturgy of Sorrows, first prepare a small bowl with some saltwater in it and a small bowl with some honey in it. The saltwater is meant to remind us of our tears and/or the tears of the LORD and the honey is meant to remind us of the sweetness of the LORD even when there are times of tears.

If time permits and it is appropriate for your situation and belief system, then spend 20-30 minutes in something like silence and rest, eliciting the relaxation response, prayer, or reflection. You might read Matthew 11:27-30 about the rest that the LORD brings us.

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Or read Philippians 4:6-7 about prayer and supplication.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

After this time of reflection, prayer, silence, or eliciting the relaxation response, then take care of whatever is needed to then give full attention to the Liturgy of Sorrows.

Sequence of the Liturgy of Sorrows

This is a suggested sequence for the Liturgy of Sorrows. You can click the forward arrow in the slideshow above when you are ready to move to the next item in the sequence. The sequence with suggested timings is shown in the list below. If you need to time any part of the sequence then a stopwatch timer is provided underneath the slideshow. Simply click the Start button to start the timing and Reset button to reset the stopwatch. The total time of these events normally takes between 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Reading of Matthew 5:4 and Matthew 28:20.
  • Prayer for entering the liturgy of sorrows.
  • Reading the text of Isaiah 53 if it is to be read (2 slides).
  • OR the using the following slide of a video of Isaiah 53 being read. Setting the speed to 0.75 instead of full speed may be appropriate as well.
  • Video of Fernando Ortega singing O Sacred Head Now Wounded as we remember the price that Jesus paid for our sins.
  • Tasting the salt or salt water and having a few moments of reflection on the cross of Jesus. May your tears become our tears, LORD, just as our tears became your tears. (3 minutes suggested)
  • Reading of passages from the Psalms for Healing.
  • Video of Darrell Winn singing There is a Balm in Gilead.
  • Spend time tasting the honey and thinking about the sweetness of the LORD even in the midst of our sorrow. (3 minutes suggested)
  • Video of Nathan Drake singing Beneath the Cross of Jesus.
  • Prayer for ending the liturgy of sorrows.

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