Welcome to Druid Hills Presbyterian Church’s online Good Friday Worship Service. This service may be used in totality, or you may pick portions to help frame your Friday in the sacrifice of Jesus. Everything you need is right here, with links to scripture readings and songs, but you may find the service less disruptive to use your own Bible. May God bless this time and your worship on this holy day.
Opening Words – Based upon John 3:16 ~ written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Listening to the Stones.
I have a story to tell
of one who reached inside himself
and took a handful of love
like a pile of stardust
and said: this is for you
it is all you need
it is all you will ever need
there is enough here
to change the whole world
many laughed at him
and ignored the invitation
but some dared to take it
and those who did
noticed something about this love
they found they could do what the gift-giver could do
they could stand with the lost
welcome the traveler
eat with the hungry
they found themselves doing what the man first did to them
give something of themselves to others
they became like the man
and as they offered themselves
others took the invitation
and many still do
and many still trust
it is enough to change the whole world
(Sit comfortably and close your eyes. For a minute or two, allow yourself to simply be present to God as God calls you to worship. Remember that God’s Spirit is often depicted as wind and breath; inhale and exhale. As you feel yourself distracted refocus on your breath until you find a natural rhythm.)
Merciful God, you gave your Son to suffer the shame of the cross. Save us from hardness of heart, that, seeing him who died for us, we may repent, confess our sin, and receive your overflowing love, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
(Center yourself in silence once more. Inhale . . . pause . . . exhale, silently praying with each breath. Repeat at will.)
Inhale: Lord, Jesus Christ,
Pause: Savior of the world,
Exhale: have mercy on me, a sinner.
Assurance of Forgiveness
Hear these words:
The promises of God’s forgiveness usually come quickly, just a breath after the confessor’s amen. Even now, in the shadow of the cross, God does not withhold the clean slate, the fresh start, the renewed relationship. But today we wait for the words of assurance, not because the promises are not there but because it was three days in the grave . . . three days before the stone rolled back and death was put in it’s place. We wait because it’s Friday, but we hope and we trust that Sunday’s coming.
First Scripture Reading – Psalm 22:1-31
Song – Beautiful Scandalous night, Sixpence None The Richer, Bebo Norman
Second Scripture Reading – John 18:1-21
Song – Not A Mumblin’ Word, The Welcome Wagon
Third Scripture Reading – John 19:13-30
Song – O Sacred Head Now Wounded, Page CXVI
Offering – In response to God’s great love, you are invited to make a donation to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS).
OGHS is one of the PCUSA’s denomination-wide offerings, collected each Eastertide. Gifts support ministries of disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people find safe refuge, start new lives and work together to strengthen their families and communities.
Prayer – written by MaryAnn McKibben Dana, posted on LiturgyLink.
O Holy God,
the hosannas have died away,
the palm branches have turned brittle.
Now, today, there is only this –
each of us,
all of us,
sitting in the darkness,
the hymns of lament in the air,
the mumblings of our own feeble confession,
on this Friday
which we tremble to call Good.
What is good about Good Friday?
What is good about the innocent one nailed to a cross?
What is good about the darkness of war that persists today?
What is good about our devastation of the planet?
… about people living in poverty?
… about the fog of addiction, depression, disease and despair?
What is good about the crushing weight of hunger, racism, scapegoating, apathy?
No, there is nothing good and desirable in these things.
Yet you, O God, are Good.
When suffering reigns, yours is the first heart to break.
When despair lurks about, we remember that you were there first,
peering into the abyss and crying out, incredibly:
“Father, forgive them.”
When we feel forsaken, we remember that in your last moments,
you cared for your mother and your beloved disciple,
binding them to one another as a new family.
When we feel overcome by guilt, we remember that you spoke grace to a thief:
“Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Your love for us is just that boundless,
What else can we say here, in the dimness,
in the darkness,
but thank you. Amen.
Fourth Scripture Reading – John 19:31-42
Video Reflection – Seven Last Words
Sending Thought – excerpt from It Is Finished, by The Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor, posted on explorefaith.org.
Those whom he left behind saw nothing but his corpse. He was not a teacher anymore. He had become a teaching instead–a window into the depths of God that some could see through and some could not. Those who held out hope for a strong God, a fierce God, a God who would brook no injustice–they looked upon a scene where God was not, while those whose feet Jesus had washed, whose faces he had touched, whose open mouths he had fed as if they were little birds–they looked upon a scene in which God had died for love of them.
He had put his own body between them and those who meant to do them harm. He had demolished the rock around their hearts. He had shown them a dangerous new way to live.
It was dark by the time they got him down and found a place to lay him. It was the Sabbath, his turn to rest. His part was over. His work was done.