Event – Good Friday

Good Friday Darkness Call to Worship

God of grace,
we have dragged ourselves to church with heavy hearts.
We are reluctant to hear this story of Jesus’ suffering,
and his death on the cross.
We would rather skip this somber day and go straight to Easter.
We long for happy hymns that speak of your victory over death.
But that is not for today.
Help us, today, to stay with Jesus,
to watch as he is handed over and condemned,
to not turn away as he is tortured and killed.
He will love us to the end.
On this day where the sins of the world are gathered,
and the sorrow of a Saviour breaks our hearts,

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The Grief of Us All: Good Friday Benediction

Jesus, we wait here by your tomb
carrying our grief;
the grief of the betrayer,
the grief of the denier,
the grief of the crucifiers.
We carry the grief of the lost,
the heartbroken, the bereft.
Upon you was laid the grief of us all.
It is finished.
God of endings, God of darkness,
God of the tomb, God of dark days and great loss,
be with us now as we wait with Jesus.

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Judas, the Friend of Jesus

Judas is so easy to hate.
The  betrayer, the snitch, the bad seed,
his name synonymous with treason.
No one cries when we hear he’s hung himself.
We all think, “Finally he gets what he deserves.”
Cast into the darkness of disgrace for all time,
who mourns for Judas?

But Judas was there from the beginning,
called like every disciple,
leaving behind everything to follow Jesus.
He was there in the boat, watching Jesus walk on water….

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Good Friday Service: A Funeral for Jesus

:  In this service, we put ourselves into the shoes of Jesus’ family and closest friends as they mourned his death.  They did not have a funeral for Jesus, but they saw his body and knew that he died.  In our culture, we have a funeral for people who have died, when we perform that ritual, it is clear that someone has passed away.  Having a service that is funeral-like  on Good Friday can hammer home to us in a very deep, visceral way that Jesus really died.  Most people have been to many Good Friday services where it is explained that Jesus died for our sins.  That is an important message, but  not one that this service talks about.   This service doesn’t talk about that since we are putting ourselves into the shoes of the disciples and Jesus’ family; just after he died they were in a time of shock, of wondering and not understanding. 

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Turn to the Cross Good Friday Prayer

We come gingerly to prayer on this Good Friday
holding the pieces of our broken world.
So much is ruined and spoiled,
so much hatred and anger,
so many acts of violence.
Our eyes turn to the cross
as evidence of our sinfulness,
we crucified even the one who loved us most and best.

There is no talk today of who is greatest,
no talk of triumph and victory.
Instead we stand quietly here at the foot of the cross,

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Most Solemn of Days Call to Worship

On this most solemn of days we gather for worship.
Jesus, lead us from the darkness of the garden,
to the bare courtyard and its soldiers.
Draw us from Pilate’s palace and its crowds,
through the streets of Jerusalem.
Shepherd us to a lonely hillside
where the lamb of God waits for us.
We would follow you, Jesus, on this,
your day of suffering.

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Good Friday Prayer of Confession

We come to you, Jesus, burdened with our own sin.
Our own calls for revenge and violence,
which may or may not have included the words, “Crucify, crucify!”
Our own betrayals, with or without the thirty pieces of silver.
Our own denials, whether or not we have heard the cock crowing.
You know the sins we carry, secretly or openly,
the way they crush us, the weight of them.
We bring these to your cross…*

You carry our burdens, Lord.
These, the simplest and gravest of sins,
are magnified into organizations and systems,
amplified in the actions of corporations and governments.
Selfishness, revenge and violence unfold on the largest scale,

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Good Friday Poem: Peter

My first thought was, “It’s not going to be me.”

Jesus, in a voice barely audible,

told us we would all become deserters.

When I protested, he looked at me,

singling me out,

and said that I would deny him too.


After everything we’d gone through together,

after all I’d left behind, these three years of ministry…

how could he doubt me?

Was I not the only one who stepped out of the boat,

waves raging, my one thought to be at his side? 

With all my heart, I’d told him what I knew to be true,

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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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