Good Friday Service
April 7, 2023, 6 pm
Prelude “Mercy, O Thou Son of David” Gardner Read
Introit “Christ Was Wounded”
WORDS OF WELCOME
CALL TO WORSHIP
On this day we gather to remember Jesus our Savior
who loved us and gave himself for us.
Let us draw near in full assurance of God’s endless love and mercy.
We give our thanks and praise to Jesus Christ
who carries our sorrows,
heals our wounds,
redeems us from despair and death
and restores our souls, our humanity and our entire planet.
HYMN “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” #195
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
O God, you have searched us and known us, and all that we are is open to you. We confess that we have sinned: we have used our power to dominate and our weakness to manipulate; we have evaded responsibility and failed to confront evil; we have denied dignity to ourselves and to each other, and fallen into despair. Forgive us, O God: renew us with your tender mercy, make us fully alive, and give us strength to love in the way of Jesus Christ.
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
MUSIC “Alas! And did my Savior bleed?”
I. “Father, Forgive Them; for They Know Not What They Do”
Reading Luke 23:32-38
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
Prayer: Thank you, gracious God, for pardoning those offenses which even we thought to be unforgivable. Grant us the grace to forgive our enemies and those who wrong or injure us, that we may know more fully the depth of Christ’s gift to us; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
MUSIC “Was it for crimes that I have done”
II. “Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise”
Reading Luke 23:39-40
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
REFLECTION Rev. Dr. Barbara Purinton
Prayer: Christ, our Savior and Friend, who opens paradise to the broken and the suffering heart: hear us in our moments of despair and guide us safely into your realm of justice, mercy, and peace, where you live and reign forever. Amen.
III. “My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”
Reading Mark 15:33-35
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.”
Prayer: Compassionate God, who knows the secrets of our hearts, show us that in every woe you are with us and that in every sorrow you love us with the unfailing love of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
MUSIC “Well might the sun in darkness hide”
IV. “Woman, Behold Thy Son. Son, Behold Thy Mother.”
Reading John 19:25-27
And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
REFLECTION The Rev. Dr. Richard R. Swanson
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Son of the living God and Mary’s child, strengthen the ties that bind us to family and friends, and open our circles to embrace the stranger and the outcast. Give us tender and patient hearts and grant us the grace to feel the sorrows and trials of others as our own, that we may grow into the loving family you have called us to be. Amen.
HYMN “Were You There” #198
V. “I Thirst.”
Reading John 19:28-29
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.
Prayer: Lord of life, increase our faith, renew our courage and give us the strength to endure all times of testing. Quench the longing of our souls with the waters of your spirit, and flow through us to those thirsting for life and health and peace. Amen.
MUSIC “But drops of grief can ne’er repay”
VI. “It Is Finished”
Reading John 19:30
When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
REFLECTION Rev. Dan Haugh
Prayer: Ever-present God, we thank you for the great company of all those of your servants who, having finished their course in faith, now rest from their labors. (A brief period of silence) Help us to so trust in you that your presence may lead us through our years and bring us at last with them into the joy of your home not made with hands, but eternal in the heavens. Amen
VII “Father, Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit”
Reading Luke 23:44-49
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Prayer: We thank you, Lord Jesus, that you did not choose to go your own way but gave the last full measure of your devotion to God. As we observe your final moments, help us to comprehend the magnitude of your love for us, and so commit ourselves to your gracious and self-giving ways. Amen.
HYMN “What Wondrous Love Is This” #200
Closing “Lord, Have Mercy”
Postlude “Were You There?” Dale Wood
The Rev. Daniel Haugh, Minister, Stowe Community Church
The Rev. Dr. Barbara Purinton, Pastoral Associate, Stowe Community Church
The Rev. Dr. Richard R. Swanson, Rector, St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church
Karen R Miller, Organist, Stowe Community Church