This article is from Issue 22 of “On The Move,” a publication of new learning possibilities for churches, at one time published by The Joint Board of Christian Education of Australia and New Zealand.
Although some ideas and liturgies may appear somewhat “dated” in style, concept, imagery or language, they may nevertheless offer a spring-board for new ideas among people who find themselves leading worship, perhaps in a new context, and with some trepidation.
Reproduced by permission. May be reprinted for use in local congregations only.
An Order of Service for GOOD FRIDAY
David C. Pratt
The congregation stands.
It is good that Christians should gather for worship,
to remember and to give thanks for our Lords life and death.
It is good that on this Friday we should relive the gospel stories
and experience again the sorrow of the cross and the forgiving love of God.
We worship because we believe in Jesus Christ,
who always had the nature of God
but did not cling to his own equality with God.
Instead he gave it all up to become a servant,
to become a man like us, to become a human being.
He was humble enough even to accept death, his own death on a cross.
So God has raised him high above all other men,
so that everyone everywhere – on earth, above the earth, under the earth –
will fall on their knees and openly confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen. (portions of Philippians 2:6-11)Hymn: Man of sorrowsTHE FIRST SYMBOL:
Reading from John 13:1-17.
During the reading the symbol of basin and towel is placed on the table.
Silence is kept for a time.
A reflection is shared.
We then pray together.
Hymn: When I survey the wondrous cross
THE SECOND SYMBOL:
We read now from Mark 14:12-26.
As the reader speaks symbols of bread and wine are placed on the table.
Then we all keep silence.
What does this symbol mean?
Let us share in prayer.
Hymn: We sing the praise of him who died
THE THIRD SYMBOL:
The account of the death of Christ is read from Mark 15:1-39
A cross is carried in and placed in the centre of the table.
In silence we try to sort out our thoughts.
Some guiding thoughts are shared.
Again we share in prayer.
Hymn: Beneath the cross of Jesus
The congregation remains standing.
A responsive reading such as the ‘Salvator mundi’ (‘O Saviour of the world’) may be included here.
We have experienced again the death of Christ
and shared in the pain of the cross.
We have accepted his love for us.
Now Lord we would look beyond the cross,
so that we may joyously experience your appearing
and faithfully share in your life.
The leader pronounces the blessing.