Good Friday

The Continuation of the Three Most Holy Days

Leader: As we gather together tonight on the most sacred of days, even though we worship from our individual places, let us remember that we are not alone.  We are gathered together as one in Jesus.  As you go through this service, remember the others of our congregation who will be going through this service with you tonight.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

All: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name your kingdom come,  your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trail and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.  Amen.

 L:   We will glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,

A: in whom is our salvation, our life, and resurrection.

Prayer of the Evening:

L:  Let us pray.

 All: Blessed are you, O God, holy and immortal, for you remember how we are made—as frail as dust, as fleeting as breath. By your tender compassion, your Word became flesh and dwelt  among us, that the world might know your love.  Be present with us now, we pray.  Turn our hearts in  trust toward you and in love toward one another, for you are gracious and merciful, slow to anger and rich in love, through Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Amen.

Readings: (Again, please read these from your bible or from the internet.  Commentaries are from Sundays and Seasons.)

L: To you all hearts are open.

A: Give us a new heart, O Christ.

1st Reading Isaiah 52:13-53:12 –  The fourth servant poem promises ultimate vindication for the servant, who made his life and offering for sin.  The servant pours himself out to death and is numbered with the transgressors, images that the early church (ans we today) saw as important keys for understanding the death of Jesus.

 L: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

 A: By your cross you have redeemed the world.   

Psalm 22 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

2nd  ReadingHebrews 10:16-25 In the death of Jesus, forgiveness of sins is accomplished and access to God is established.  Hence, when we gather together for worship (either physically or spiritually as now) and when we love others, we experience anew the benefits of Jesus’ death.   

L: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

A: By your cross you have redeemed the world.

Gospel Acclamation:  Look to Jesus, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

L:   The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Gospel:     John 18:1-19:42 –  When Jesus says he has “spoken openly to the world” (John 18:20), he uses the Greek word “cosmos”, an important word in John’s gospel.  His death and his resurrection change the whole cosmos.  As we read this gospel account, please remember that when John reference “the Jews” in such negativity it is actually the religious leaders of the day that he is referring to. John’s gospel in particular has been used throughout history to hold a negative light upon people of the Jewish faith.  We must remember that the Jewish people are God’s beloved children and members of God’s family.  They are not only our siblings but also our ancestors.  Jesus was Jewish.

L: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

A: By your cross you have redeemed the world


(Read by all together in silence)

Suffering, a sense of abandonment, uncertainty, grief, and fear can characterize so many of our own lives.  It is especially true for many  these days in particular as we continue to isolate, to self social-distance.  Jesus knows how we feel in those moments.

Were we able to gather together tonight, this would be the night that we are invited to come forward and kneel, sit, touch, shed tears, pray as we gather around the cross remembering Jesus’ suffering on our behalf.  His ultimate sacrifice, the taking on of all the brokenness of our lives and the lives of the world around us. He took upon himself, every ugliness, sinfulness, shame, guilt, abandonment, and fear that any of us have ever had.  Jesus took it.  And in that moment of feeling all of us and our sin, Jesus also felt the pain of God turning away from him. He gave up his life so that we can have ours with God forever.  He loved (and still loves) us so much that he gave it all up so that the tear in the very cosmos that we caused would be healed.  That God would never turn away from us but would forever reach out to us with forgiveness and love.

As we come before the cross, whether in front of an actual cross you may have at home or maybe just a picture of a cross you have in your memory, remember him.  Remember Jesus.  Give thanks for what he has done and then lay all your burdens down at the foot of that cross.  Death is not the end.  Jesus traveled through it so that we could have life again.  As we look upon the crucified Christ, we look not only at the sorrow and loss of that moment but we look in anticipation of the resurrection to come.

 Jesus, in his suffering and death, reveals the very heart of God, a heart of pure unspeakable love, a heart that risks everything for the sake of  love, a heart open to the suffering of others and broken by the cruelty of others, a heart alive with love that death could not hold.

So,  come to the cross, to the heart of God.  Bring your own heart as it is—hardened or cold, broken or empty, fearful or unfaithful, for God welcomes it and will breathe into it the Spirit of Christ’s love. All that holds us in negativity and fear, even COVID 19, is just a moment in time.  Look upon the cross and see the joy that will come as the new morning dawns.  Jesus loves you and me.  He died so that we can be set free.  Resurrection is coming.

L: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

A: By your cross you have redeemed the world.


Sending Litany :

L: When all is dark, and hope is buried, it is hard to trust his words. That promised, before the pain:  He died that I might live.

        A: He died that I might live.

L: In his death is my birth.  In his life is my life.  He died that I might live.

        A: He died that I might live.

L: The cross is now empty. The body laid quickly in a tomb.  The stone has been rolled into place and sealed.  The guards posted.  Our worship service is not over.  With the others we wait for the dawn.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

A: By your cross you have redeemed the world