Event – Good Friday

Stay with Jesus Good Friday Call to Worship

God of grace,
we come together on this somber day with heavy hearts.
We are reluctant to hear this story of Jesus’ suffering,
we would rather skip this and go straight to Easter,
to hear the happy songs and rejoice about your victory over death.
But that is not for today.
Help us, now, to stay with Jesus;
to feel with him as he is betrayed, rejected,
to watch as he is condemned, tortured and killed
because of his love for all humankind.
Thank you for the gift of your son,
which you freely gave,
even though you knew how he would be received.
Be with us now, in this hour of worship.  Amen

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Coming to the City Nearest You

Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the city nearest you.
Jesus comes to the gate, to the synagogue,
to houses prepared for wedding parties,
to the pools where people wait to be healed,
to the temple where lambs are sold,
to gardens, beautiful in the moonlight. 
He comes to the governor’s palace.

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The Lowly Way: Good Friday Confession

Jesus, you loved us in the beginning
and you loved us to the end.
Even on the night you were betrayed,
you took a towel, and washed our feet.
We confess that we are reluctant to think of you
doing such a humble task, least of all for us.
Like Peter, we protest.

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Good Friday Pandemic Prayer

Jesus, Saviour, hear our Good Friday prayer.
As human beings stagger under the weight
of a worldwide pandemic,
we turn to you, bearer of the pain of the world.
You woke that Friday morning in captivity,
and so we see your face in all who are imprisoned;
hear our prayer for those in jail,
who cannot escape contagion in close quarters.
We see your face in all who are unjustly accused;
hear our prayer for those who tell the truth about this virus,

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A Man of Sorrows

Jesus on that last Thursday
weeping in the garden alone,
asks for a different path.
In the depths of fear, asking turns to pleading.
He is in all points tempted as we are
as he seeks the will of God.
A man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief.
And then it is Jesus in chains,
taken where he does not want to go.
During that long restless night in captivity,

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It was a close call.
I thought I was a goner.
I’d been sentenced to death,
and there was a cross with my name on it.
The Romans are brutal, and there is no mercy,
not for someone like me.
I was arrested a week before the festival.
I led my men, we planned and plotted,
waiting for the right time, the right opportunity.
Everyone is sick of this occupation,
this bowing and scraping, yes sir and no sir,
keeping our mouths shut and our eyes down.
Carrying centurions’ burdens like donkeys,

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Solemn Good Friday Benediction

We have seen our Saviour in chains.
We have seen him crucified.
We have heard his cries
and witnessed his suffering and death.
It is finished.
Go from this solemn service remembering
all that Christ did for you.

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Solemn Good Friday Call to Worship

Slowly, we come to worship on this holy Friday.
Reluctantly, we hear the story of Jesus’ suffering.
Bleakly, we follow Jesus to the cross.
Humbly, we acknowledge our part in his passion.
Deeply, we yearn to understand the depth of this sacrifice.
Solemnly, we gather this day to pray and worship together,
giving thanks for our Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Good Friday Prayer for Those Who Suffer

Jesus, you walked a dark path;
you took on the suffering of the world as your own.
And so today we pray for all who suffer.
We see your face in the face of those in captivity,
and so we pray for inmates in _________________ [our local jail]
whose pain is muffled by high walls and barbed wire.
We see your face in the face of those unjustly accused,
and so we pray for those who are being held without a trial,
who fear they will not get out alive.
We see your face in those who are tortured,
and so we pray for all who are chained,
and whose bodies flinch with every blow.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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