Good Friday

YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO USE OR ADAPT ANY OF THESE LITURGIES.  Attribution is appreciated: “Written by Beth Merrill Neel on her blog, ‘Hold Fast to What Is Good’.  Used with permission.”

There really is nothing good about it.
There is no good in violence, in fear, in injustice, in cruelty.
Yet we call this day ‘good’ because God was there that day;
We call this day ‘good’ because God is here this day.
Knowing that God is with us, let us have courage to hear this terrible story once again.
And let us worship God.

We do not want to drink the cup.
We do not want to bear another’s burden.
For that matter, we do not want to admit our own complicity.
We do not want to confess our wrong.
But still, here we are, fallen people in a fallen world, waiting for so long to be redeemed.
The wait is endless and exhausting. How long, O Lord?
How long, O people? How long will you turn away from me?
How long will we pursue our own delights that come at the expense of others?
How long will you recite my teachings without living them?
How long will we be entertained by violence?
How long will you gorge yourselves while others starve?
How long will we utter a muttered pray that we’re glad that wasn’t us?
How long will you sin, O my people?
How long will you love us, O Lord?

PROLOGUE   The Motivation:  Luke 22:1-6
In the quiet dark we gather to remember the saddest of our stories, to tell the truth about what happened, and to mourn it. We look inside at where we have been culpable in adding to the wounds of the world and to the suffering of humanity. Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Let us worship God.

HYMN “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”
READING   The Last Supper:  Luke 22:7, 14-23

Let us come before God, our judge and redeemer.
We bring our humility, our guilt, and our lament.
For children are hungry,
And women lug water for miles,
And the old among us are cast away.
When, Lord, did we see you?
Those who sleep on the street are ignored,
Those who speak out are silenced,
Those who wage peace are mocked.
When, Lord, did we see you?
Violence becomes commonplace,
War is tolerated,
And our families are rent apart.
When, Lord, did we see you?
Our souls are shredded by the weight of the world,
And our hands grow limp from inaction.
Our voices are hoarse from cryout out.
We allow the Savior to die.
When, Lord, did we see you?
“Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”
READING  The Prayer:  Luke 22:39-42, 45-46

READING   The Betrayal: Luke 22:47-48
HYMN “Ah, Holy Jesus”

READING   The Trial:  Luke 22:66-71
READING (responsive) The Sentence:  Luke 23:13-25

L: Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.’ Then they all shouted out together,
All: ‘Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!’
L: (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting,
All: ‘Crucify, crucify him!’
L: A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.’ But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

ANTHEM “Father, Forgive Them”

READING   The Crucifixion:  Luke 23:32-43

READING    Death: Luke 23:44-49
EPILOGUE   The Burial: Luke 23:50-56
SOLO “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord”
(The service ends in silence after the candle is taken out.
You may leave as you feel ready.)