Worship Elements: Good Friday 2014 (Option 1)

February 19th, 2012

Color: Black or None
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 52:13–53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25; John 18:1–19:42

Theme Ideas

“Undying love.” Today is the day when this overused cliché holds concrete truth for the followers of Christ. While it wasn’t as evident to those who stood beneath the cross on that Friday we call “good,” it is clear to us today. In the death of Christ, there is evidence of the undying love of God. A search of the true disciple’s heart will reveal the branding of God’s redeeming love. Christ was forsaken for love’s sake. Such love is for our benefit, calling us to draw near to the throne of God’s grace. This sacrificial love is unrelenting, irresistible, never ending, and undying. We will not be forsaken. God enters humanity and dies. God’s undying love in Christ is both universal and specific—it is a love for humanity in general and for each individual in particular.

Call to Worship (Psalm 22)

All the ends of the earth will remember
and turn to the Lord.
All the families of the nations
will bow down before God.

For dominion belongs to the Lord.
God rules over the nations.
All peoples on the earth will feast and worship.
Those who cannot keep themselves alive
will kneel before the Lord.

Posterity will serve God.
Future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim God’s righteousness
to a people yet unborn.

Call to Worship (Hebrews 10)

This is the covenant I will make with them, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts
and I will write them on their minds.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart,
in full assurance of faith.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for the One who promised is faithful.

Let us consider how we may spur one another on
toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together
as some are in the habit of doing.
But let us encourage one another,
as we see the Day of the Lord approaching.

Call to Worship (John 18, John 19)

Come, let us gather again in the shadow
of the Cross of Christ.
We gather to remember the overwhelming evidence
of Love’s ultimate sacrifice.

Who would have guessed that the height and depth,
the length and width of God’s love might look like this:
a forsaken savior on a cross?
Certainly not us. Not us, who are too often lost
amid the world’s distractions and responsibilities.
Not us, for whom such love was offered without cost.

Let us gather again in the shadow of the Cross of Christ
and commit ourselves to remember the price paid.
Let us live our lives in a way that indicates why
this Friday is called “Good.”
Thanks be to God, who opened the gates of heaven,
that we might have the faith, hope, and love,
witnessed in Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation.

Contemporary Gathering Words

(Referencing Charles Wesley’s hymn “And Can It Be That I Should Gain”)

Who is the victim of this terrible thing?!
Who is the scapegoat of this horrific thing?!
An innocent man has been ruthlessly killed.
An innocent man has been senselessly sacrificed.
For whom has this man been sacrificed?

For whom has this man been slain as an offering?
For a guilty man he has been hung on a cross.
For a guilty woman he has been pierced.

What kind of man is this?
Who would die in the place of the guilty?
What kind of man is this?
Who would suffer for one who has done evil?
Amazing Love! How can it be
that Thou, my God would die for me?
Amazing Love! How can it be,
that Thou, my Christ would die for me?

Praise Sentences (Hebrews 10)

Thanks be to God, who remembers our sins
and our lawless deeds no more.
Thanks be to God, whose forgiveness is now sure
and who no longer demands any offering for sin.
Praise be to God, who has removed the veil,
drawing us near to the throne of grace and mercy.
Let us honor and glorify God, by gathering together
and encouraging us to love one another,
as Christ has loved us.
Praise be to God!

Opening Prayer (John 18, John 19, Good Friday)

O God of infinite love and power,
we gather together on this Good Friday
to reflect on the passion of the Christ.
We are utterly humbled
in the presence of such love and mercy.
Open our hearts this day
to the goodness of Good Friday,
and fill us with your love
and powerful Spirit of Holiness.
Remove from us all sin.
Offer us anew this Life in Christ
that makes all things new. Amen.

Opening Prayer (Psalm 8, Hebrews 2, Good Friday)

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Who are we that you are mindful of us?
Yet, you consider us only a little lower
than the heavenly angels.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
We who need you desperately each day,
have come to you on this Good Friday
to acknowledge the endless love
you have demonstrated on the Cross of Christ.
Inspire us to live each and every day,
in the fullness of your eternal life.
In the name of the love incarnate,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Unison Prayer or Prayer of Confession (Isaiah 53, Psalm 51)

We all, like sheep, have gone astray.
We have all turned to our own way.
We have sinned and have been the cause
of Christ’s suffering.
Please forgive us, we pray.
Remove the sins that distance us from you
and from those we love and care about.
Remove our selfishness, our pride, our envy,
and our greed.
Remove from us our thoughtless acts
and words that hurt one another.
Remove from us the tendency to hurt others
out of revenge and anger.
Forgive us please.
Create in us a clean heart, O Lord.
And renew in us a right spirit. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Hebrews 10, Jeremiah 31)

In the name of the compassionate Christ,
you are forgiven.
For God has declared, “I forgive your evil ways
and remember your sins no more!”

Benediction (Hebrews 10)

May you leave this place with the assurance
of forgiveness that is made possible
through the sacrifice of Christ.
Go forth in hope and anticipation
of the ultimate victory that comes with Easter.
Go forth! Be Easter people!

Benediction (1 Peter 2, Good Friday)

By his stripes we are healed.
By his wounds, we are made whole.
Go in the name of Jesus Christ
and live in the salvation made possible
by the Goodness of this Friday. Amen.


From The Abingdon Worship Annual 2006, edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu
Copyright © 2005 by Abingdon Press. All rights reserved. 
The 2015 edition of The Abingdon Worship Annual is now available. 

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