On this Good Friday, we will worship with the Words of Jesus from the Cross. This a worship service that has been adapted from Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. We have inserted music and other special elements to the service, including communion.
Below is the fully annotated Good Friday Worship Service with all links needed. A brief opening video introduction will give worship instructions for what is needed (7 sources of light/bread and juice) and what to expect. We recommend beginning your worship service around dusk (7:30pm) if able. Anticipated time for the worship service is about 1 hour.
Our denomination as well as many people around the world have declared this Good Friday a day of fasting and prayer. People of God, we invite you to engage in this call. The Lord be with you and see you at the table of our Lord,
Worship for Good Friday, April 10th, 2020, ideally at dusk (7:30pm):
The following order of worship for Good Friday is adapted from Praying the Words of the Cross in a Season of Pandemic from Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. The service will unfold with 7 Scripture readings, a prayer, silent prayer, and a music selection. Communion will take place after the 6th lesson.
- A willing spirit and an open heart – 1 hour of time and space.
- Gather 7 light sources (candle, flashlight, lamps, et), one for each lesson. As a lesson is completed a light source can be extinguished – you will be prompted in the order.
- Communion: Gather enough bread or crackers, juice or wine, and serving containers for participation in communion. Pastor Mark will officiate the communion time (video).
Opening Video: Introduction, Guidance and Instructions from Pastor Mark:
As you enter into worship this evening, begin with a time of silence to ready your heart and your spirit for worship.
Let us begin: Opening Prayer
Holy and Living God, as this pandemic continues to awaken our fears, to disrupt our lives, and to reduce the health and lives of those we love, we struggle to find words to say to you. And so, in this dark hour we join with your Son, in praying the words he spoke in the very darkest hour.
The First Word: Read the following: Luke 23:33-34
“The soldiers led Jesus away, taunting and mocking him. “When they came to the place called Golgotha, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And the soldiers divided up his clothes by casting lots.”
Prayer: Loving Father, we are uncertain and afraid. In our fear, we look for someone or something to blame: institutions, leaders, neighbors, and even family members are all easy targets of our resentment. As our frustration toward others grows, we ask that you forgive them, and then we ask you to forgive us, also. Make us aware of the ways, small and big, that our own sin makes this situation harder for us and others, and forgive us.
Read in Unison: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. (Extinguish 1st of 7 light sources)
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Fernando Ortega and Choir
The Second Word: Read the following: Luke 23:35-43
“The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” One of the criminals joined in with the mocking voices… But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Prayer: Eternal God, as this pandemic brings our mortality and the consequences of sin into sharper relief, we thank you that you have made a way by your death and resurrection that we may repent and receive your grace to save us in life and in death. We thank you that, in Christ, you make all things new.
Read in Unison: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. (Extinguish 2nd of 7 light sources)
O Sacred Head Thou Wounded by Fernando Ortega, images The Passion of the Christ.
The Third Word: Read the following: John 19:25-26
“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
Prayer: Son of God, even as you changed the course of history on the cross, you took time to notice and make arrangements to care for the very tangible needs of someone you loved. As we find ourselves caught up in a moment that feels historic and unprecedented, direct our attention to notice and make arrangements to care for the very tangible needs of those around us.
Read in Unison: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. (Extinguish 3rd of 7 light sources)
Were you There? By Jeff Widenhofer
The Fourth Word: Read the following: Matthew 27:45-46
“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
Prayer: Holy Spirit, your Word describes you as our comforter and counselor, but for some of us, you have never seemed so far away. We feel abandoned, exposed, and left to fend for ourselves. The most vulnerable among us seem to be most affected by this disease. Our churches are empty while our hospitals are overrun. We struggle to see your hand at work amidst the suffering. We join with the Psalmist in crying out, “How long, O Lord, will you forget us forever?” “We are overwhelmed with troubles, and our lives draw near to death.” “Do you show your wonders to the dead?” “Do not be far from us, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.” “Do not hide your face from us. But listen to our cry for help.” “You have taken from us friend and neighbor–darkness is our closest friend.”
Read in Unison: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. (Extinguish 4th of 7 light sources)
The Fifth Word: Read the following: John 19:28
“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus lips.”
Prayer: Blessed Savior, who faced death thirsty and alone, reveal yourself to those who face their death in both physical agony and at social distance. Heal their bodies and save their souls. May those overwhelmed by physical and emotional pain, turn to you and find that you are not distant from our suffering, but find that you are a man of sorrows who is familiar with suffering. By your wounds, may we experience healing unto eternal life.
Read in Unison: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. (Extinguish 5th of 7 light sources)
What Wondrous Love is This? By Jeff Widenhofer
The Sixth Word: Read the following: John 19:30
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Prayer: King of Kings, as we reach the end of ourselves, and feel we cannot go any further, we thank you that you finished the work you were sent to do: that your kingdom is secure and not even death can now separate us from the love of God in you, our Lord. Enable us by your Spirit to be faithful to our call in the confidence that you have and will accomplish all that you have promised. Grant us strength to endure our suffering, bear our crosses, deny ourselves and live for you, even unto death. By your Spirit, empower us to live and love so faithfully and selflessly that the good news of your kingdom may be proclaimed through our lives.
Read in Unison: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. (Extinguish 6th of 7 light sources)
Communion: Pastor Mark will lead us through communion.
The Seventh Word: Read Luke 23:45-46
“The sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.”
Prayer: Holy Spirit, when our lives reach their earthly end, help us entrust our deaths, as you have helped us entrust our lives, into your faithful hands.
Read in Unison: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. (Extinguish 7th of 7 light sources)
Finish with this video and enjoy its beauty: In Christ Alone, Virtual Choir, A Cappella
Note: Service adapted from The Worship Sourcebook (Grand Rapids, CRC Publications, 2004)
• Easter Worship Service for April 12th: You will receive our Easter service worship service by Saturday noon.
• Extension of On Line Worship Services through April 26th.
In God’s hands, Pastor Mark