Below you’ll find a guide for worshipping at home on Good Friday. It includes the scriptures of Jesus’ words from the cross plus some sentences to focus your prayer time. The more formal prayers come from the book Listening at Golgotha by Peter Storey, illustrations by Jan Richardson.
You’re welcome to use this resource anytime on Good Friday. Here are some options-
- It’s a long-standing practice for Christians to pray from (or between) 9am-3pm on Good Friday. In doing this we remember the six hours Jesus spent on the cross.
- We will gather on Facebook Live to pray this together at 6:30pm on Good Friday. You’re most welcome to join us. https://www.facebook.com/TrinityUMCSarasota/
- Gather your household in a quiet place. Silence all electronics.
- Join us for the live online worship service at 6:30pm.
- If you are not joining us for the live online worship service, distribute copies of this resource and decide who will lead each prayer and scripture reading.
OPTIONAL OPENING PRAYER by Rev. Jes Kast
For all who have ever felt isolated
For all who have died alone
For all whose hearts break from being rejected
For all who have watched loved ones die
For all who have felt helpless
For all who have been bruised, physically and emotionally
For all who can’t comprehend God and wonder why bad things happen
For all whose hope is like a candle flickering in the wind
Today is our day. Good Friday.
Jesus on the cross crying out,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
God who walks the lonesome valley
Who understands our deepest pains, our deepest longings
Today, Good Friday
You meet us here today and we welcome you.
Be with us we pray. Amen.
LIGHT A CANDLE
THE FIRST WORD
Luke 23:32-38 NRSV
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.”
Your forgiving love saves and disturbs me.
Without it, I am lost,
yet, if I receive it, I must practice it.
By your mercy, make me merciful;
by your forgiveness, help me to forgive as I have been forgiven. Amen.
Pause in silence to pray for all who are trapped in bitterness, revenge, and resentment.
May all know the freedom of forgiving as Christ, including me.
THE SECOND WORD
Luke 23:39-43 NRSV
One of the criminals who was 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.”
Love held you to the cross for my sake, but not mine alone.
Your love is frightening in its breadth and depth;
When I embrace it, it stretches my poor spirit.
Enlarge my heart to make space for your friends;
Let me love as one forgiven. Today. Amen.
Pause in silence to pray for the salvation of all who do not know Christ.
May all place their trust in the saving power of Jesus, including me.
THE THIRD WORD
John 19:25-27 NRSV
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.
I give thanks for your mother
and all like her who have borne the pain of loving too deeply.
Thank you for your gift the church.
Help me receive as your gift all whom I encounter, whoever they are,
And to become family to them in Your name. Amen.
Pause in silence to pray for the unity of Christ’s church.
May every congregation embody the love and belonging Christ provides, including mine.
THE FOURTH WORD
Matthew 27:45-46 NRSV
From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Pause in silence to pray for all who are suffering.
Christ is near. Christ understands our pain. May all experience this, including me.
There was no suffering like yours.
I am silent in the darkness, Your darkness.
There can be no words, only worship. Amen.
Pause for another moment of silence.
THE FIFTH WORD
John 19:28-29 NRSV
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.
All the longing of God,
Through all the ages, for all humanity,
Cries out to me from your cross.
Give me a heart to hear that cry
And a longing to be found by your love. Amen.
Pause in silence to pray for all who are longing- for love, answers, healing, daily bread, justice, hope…
May all find what they need in you, O Christ, including me.
THE SIXTH WORD
John 19:30 NRSV
When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.”
Silent adoration and wonder
THE SEVENTH WORD
Luke 23:44-43 NRSV
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.
Blow out the candle
Rest now, Holy Jesus
Hero of the Cross
Your work is done.
The world has done its sinning,
And you have done your loving
Each beyond limit
And, in the end, limitless love prevails.
Your dying becomes my hope and the hope of the world. Amen.
Pass the peace of Christ to one another.
You can choose to talk about your experience or remain silent until the next morning.
Service conceived and compiled by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia © 2020
You are welcome to use this service with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa directly for publishing and posting consideration.