Good Friday (2)

This article is from Issue 30 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.

(Another) Order of Service for GOOD FRIDAY

Words surrounding death. Someone has died. We gather to pay our last respects; to support the family in their grief; to fulfil some feeling of obligation. We speak words: Doesnt he look natural… I remember the time … I know just how you feel…’ It really was a blessing … Im sorry. There are many words surrounding the death of Jesus. There is great value in words. Let us listen to what they say.

Preparation for worship:
(To be read silently as the congregation gathers.)
What is the symbol of death? Is it a coffin, a noose, an electric chair, a cross? What is it we learn from death? Could it be that only in death do we find life? What is the symbol of life?


Call to worship
Whats happened? Why are you here?
We have come because they have crucified our Lord.
Who has crucified your Lord?
The soldiers, at Pilates command.
But I heard you yell Crucify in the awful silence of your souls.
All we, like sheep, have gone astray.
We have turned everyone to his/her own way
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquities of us all.

Hymn or song:
When I survey the wondrous cross.’ (Australian Hymn Book no.258)

Prayer of confession
O God, in this day when missiles are hurled through the sky
and nations wage war against nations
and persons are manipulated by power and pressure,
what does the death of one man mean?
Lord, forgive us if we cannot look on pain and the decline of human powers.
Forgive us for shielding ourselves from the inequalities and injustices of the world.
We believe in you, we hope in you, we love you
even while we know that we have participated in your death
and have wounded you by our sins.
O Lord, forgive us. Amen.

Scripture reading: Isaiah 53:1-5.

Hymn or song: O sacred head, sore wounded. (Australian Hymn Book no.255)

A litany of remembrance:
Let us remember Jesus,
who though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor and dwelt among us;
who was content to be subject to his parents;
who lived and toiled for nearly thirty years in the common life.
May this mind be in us, that was in Jesus Christ.
Let us remember Jesus, who healed the sick,
but who warned against easy solutions;
who was Master and Lord and also Friend.
May this mind be in us, that was in Jesus Christ.
Let us remember Jesus,
who loved men but who wanted to be alone to pray;
who prayed for his disciples;
who prayed for forgiveness for those who persecuted him;
who prayed for those who received him.
May this mind be in us, that was in Jesus Christ.
Let us remember Jesus,
who believed in men and did not lose heart;
who disregarded his own comfort for another;
who humbled himself and became obedient,
even unto death, even death on the cross.
May this mind be in us, that was in Jesus Christ.
May we have the mind of Christ. Amen.

Hymn or song: ‘O Jesus crucified (Australian Hymn Book no.2 73)
or Were you there? (Australian Hymn Book no.261)

Scripture reading

A pastoral prayer

Hymn or song
In the cross of Christ I glory (Australian Hymn Book no.265)

Let us go into the world, appreciating the death of one man, no matter how small.
Let us go into the world, remembering the value of life and the meaning of death.
Let us go into the world in which we care.
Let us go into the world with hope.
Let us go into the world with love.



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