Good Friday worship service, full text

Posted By EmmanuelUMC on Apr 10, 2020 |

Emmanuel United Methodist Church

Good Friday                                                                                 April 10, 2020

Good Friday Full Service Text for Worship @ Home Order of Worship

(CCLI #1149131)

Though we are in various places on this Good Friday, we gather our hearts together for worship. This service does not include the full Scripture texts that are traditionally read on Good Friday. So I encourage you to use your Bible at home to read the full Scripture lessons for the day. You may access the online recording of this service on our church website at

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Isaiah 52:13-53:12

THE PSALM                           Psalm 22

THE EPISTLE LESSON                  Hebrews 10:16-25

THE GOSPEL LESSON                   John 18:1 – 19:42

GATHERING WORDS (If you are worshipping with others, you may use two or more voices in a “Call to Worship” style).

Our God of love has made a new covenant with us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

God writes His laws upon our hearts and minds.

          Because of Christ, our sins are remembered no more.

The curtain that stood between the Creator and the created has been torn apart.

In Christ, God stands in the gap to bring us salvation.

We enter into worship with reverence and awe. God in Christ has done amazing things for us and for all the world. It is marvelous in our sight.

By the blood of Christ, we enter God’s sanctuary with confidence and joy. We approach God’s throne of grace knowing that Jesus, our Great High Priest, made a way for us to be one with the Father.

We come to renew our spirits as we hold fast to the hope that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thanks be to God.


HYMN                O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done                            #287

OPENING PRAYER O Loving and Suffering God, your death-shattering love for us and for all the world was revealed at Golgotha. Your faithfulness sustained Jesus through His own suffering and death; lead us through the story of Good Friday to face our own pain and suffering, especially in these challenging days in which we live. Draw us to the foot of your cross where we may come to know the power of your love that changes lives, beginning with our own. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

GOSPEL READING                          John 19:16b-41 (NIV)

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.  19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”

So this is what the soldiers did. 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

This is the Word of God for the people of God.  Thanks be to God.

DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE            Mary, Mother of Jesus

(Based on Luke 2:25-40; John 19:25-27; Nancy C. Johnson, 1993

Oh….hello…..I did not realize anyone else was here . . .

I really wasn’t expecting company, especially tonight. I would really rather that no one see me like this tonight.  Some of you may not even recognize me today. Usually you see me dressed in blue, sitting at the manger, holding my baby Jesus in my arms.  I am Mary, the mother of Jesus.

I always play a part in your Christmas pageants every year…the young girl in your nativity scenes….holding the new born Messiah.

I’m sure it is much easier for you to think of me that way…the maiden from Nazareth….the one who was hailed….the one who was highly favored….the one who was gloriously chosen to bring the Son of God into the world. But nothing is the same now….everything has changed.

The day that Jesus was born was such a wonderful day! In spite of the chaos of traveling to Bethlehem for the census so late in my pregnancy….and all the difficulty we had in finding a room…it all happened that way for a reason….so God’s eternal plan could be fulfilled. As a young Jewish girl, like all Jewish girls in my day, we all knew the prophecies…we all lived hoping….dreaming …that we would be chosen to be the highly favored one, the one that would give birth to the Messiah. But in my heart of hearts… I never really understood why God chose ME…At first I was so unsure, and so was Joseph…he didn’t even believe me at first. But God took care of all that…We came to understand that God had asked us to do something unbelievable. From the moment the angel spoke to me, and then to Joseph…we knew that this was all part of God’s plan for the world…and that we had been chosen by God to participate in it.

The day that Jesus was born was the happiest day of my life. Like all babies…He was so small…so adorable….. And like all mothers, I suppose….no matter how old Jesus got or how important he was, I will always think of him as my boy. In those early days of his life, I loved rocking and holding him in my arms (cradle arms) singing to him and watching him grow.

But that day seems like a very long time ago today….and that young girl is much older now. I’ve seen more in the last 30 years… the last 30 hours…Than my mind can even comprehend. Today, I’m no longer that young girl dressed in blue. Today, I’m a grieving mother dressed sadness….wearing funeral clothing….mourning the death of my beloved son, Jesus.

I am desperately trying to understand all that has happened….and I am ashamed to admit how deeply my faith has been shaken….but they have killed my Son….and I don’t completely understand why things had to happen in this way. They have taken away my child and killed him as if he were a common criminal. But he never did anything wrong.  He didn’t deserve to die like that. They just didn’t understand what he had come to do….and right now….I’m not so sure I understand it all either.

I’m trying to make sense of it all….and my mind is racing with a thousand thoughts tonight…a thousand memories. Of course, as you know, life for me and Joseph has been so very different since Jesus’ birth. I knew that this was God’s special plan for me, but I didn’t know that it would be so difficult at times!

Thinking back though…..Old Simeon knew.   He knew from the very beginning. I’m sure you remember reading the story about the first time Joseph and I took Jesus to the temple when he was just a baby to do what the law required of us…consecrating our first born Son to the Lord. Within Simeon’s words of blessing upon Jesus there was also a warning for me. I remember Simeon’s words…especially today… I remember the look of thankfulness and amazement as Simeon took Jesus in his arms, as if his lifetime of waiting for God’s promise to be fulfilled had finally come to pass…“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,” Simeon said,
“you may now dismiss  your servant in peace.30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:  a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” Simeon’s words amazed me and Joseph, but then Simeon turned to me and said,  “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,  so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” “And a sword will pierce my own soul, too?” he told me….I didn’t really understand at the time, but Simeon’s words have come true. I feel as if that sword has left its mark on me today.

There are so many memories….You know, there were times when Joseph and I were surprised by this child. As he grew, he loved to run and play just like all children.

He was so loving and gentle….and wise beyond his years. Like the time when he was about 12 and we brought him with us to the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem like we did every year. When we began the return trip home, Jesus was nowhere in sight. He stayed there in the temple with the teachers. We didn’t know where he was. We assumed he was with the other families who had made the trip with us. After going all the way back to Jerusalem and searching for him for three days, we finally found him…..back there in Jerusalem…peacefully sitting among the teachers…..totally amazing them with his words.

Well, as you can imagine…I didn’t know whether to punish him, scold him or hug him. Like any parent would have been, I was frightened and upset when we couldn’t find him.  But he said to us, “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Joseph and I knew all along that Jesus was special….we knew what the angel had revealed to us about him….but that didn’t always make our job as parents any easier. I didn’t always understand what was happening or even how to be a good mother to Jesus. It was so hard not to make him my child…..our child….even though I always knew that he truly belonged only to His heavenly Father.

Sometimes I would forget that he wasn’t completely mine….but then something would happen to remind me. Like the time at the wedding at Cana, when Jesus turned the water into wine. He called me “Woman” right there in front of that whole crowd. Or another time when others told him that I was waiting for him….He said to them, “Who is my mother?”

You see, he never really was mine at all. He knew it, but it was hard for me to accept that all the time. I knew in my mind that he was part of God’s great plan for all of us, but I wanted him as a son, my son.  Was that so wrong?  Jesus never said it was….Jesus just seemed to love everyone the same….as if everyone was his brother or sister or mother.  And I loved him all the more for that.

I am trying desperately to accept the fact that Jesus never really belonged to me….even though I felt as if he did.  He was God and belonged to no one but God. I’m trying to understand it all and find some peace in the midst of this grief, but how can there be any peace today? How can I make sense of what they have done to my Jesus today? He preached and taught only love. He healed others. And in return, He was beaten and killed.

I know the chief priests were afraid of him. I know….I’ve heard them talking….Caiaphas and his crowd….they were afraid that Jesus would win the hearts of the people and turn against them. But Jesus was never out to hurt anyone. He only wanted us all to believe in Him…to point the way to the Kingdom of God and show us the way…that God’s way means life for us—a new life…..a different life…..a life changed by God’s love.

And I believe that because Jesus was love to me….even though I really couldn’t be the kind of mother to him that I wanted to be. Even today, at the end…when he was breathing his last….He said to me…..mother….behold your Son….and then to John, the disciple that he loved……he said Son behold your mother.  He was thinking of me as his mother in that moment…making sure that I would be taken care of after he was gone.

But I also know that his love went way beyond me…his love covers the whole world, now and for all time.  That was the reason God sent him into the world in the first place.

But now he is gone….and I miss him.  Is this really the end? This cannot be all there is to Jesus’ story? Where is God’s love now?  It seems that God has turned his back on us. Everything is so dark now. So what do I do tonight? What else can a mother do except weep and pray on the night her son dies? Oh, God….I have always believed in your great wisdom for your people….but right now, I do not understand. Let there be a sign for us who are left behind. Somehow make this dark night end and bring us your light and your love once again. Amen.

PRAYER OF DISCIPLESHIP   O God of Mercy, this night seems far removed from the day the crowds cheered your arrival into the Holy City. The Hosannas seem long forgotten and the palm branches a distant memory. For this is a night of sleeping disciples and a night of betrayal with a kiss. This is a night of denials, a night of scoffers, a night of whips and of passing the buck, of refusing to own up to guilt. This is a night of thorns and of nails, a night of crying out and of feeling forsaken. This is a night when we see ourselves in the eyes of those that shouted “Crucify”…or even in the faces of those who turned their back on you. Too often, O gracious Lord, we are also tempted to turn away, for that would be easier for us than looking at the marred face of our Savior. We shrink from suffering, both yours and ours. Our own sin separates us from you, not by your choice, but because of the walls we build around our own hearts. We draw swords in anger. We lash out with cutting words. We complain about our own suffering and too often neglect the suffering of others. Forgive us, blessed Savior.  By your grace and love, free us for joyful obedience to your will. May we be reminded tonight of the depth of your love for us so that we too can take up our own cross and follow you.

And now, as our Suffering Savior taught us to pray, let us pray together….

THE LORD’S PRAYER                                                                                      #895

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.  Amen.


Traditionally, we leave the Good Friday service in silence, so in keeping with the solemnity of the day you are invited to enter into a time of quietness at the end of the service.