Holy Week at Home- Good Friday

jesus crucifixion mother son

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/

To begin:

  • 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.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF HOLY WEEK AT HOME- GOOD FRIDAY

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 leftThen 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.”

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
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.”

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
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 MagdaleneWhen 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.

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
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.

ALL:
Holy Jesus,
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:
Holy Jesus,
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 winehe 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 twoThen 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

ALL:
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.

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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.

Holy Week at Home- Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday)

Washing feet by Leszek Forczek

Washing of Feet by Leszek Forczek

Below you’ll find a guide for worshipping at home on Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday. It includes some scriptures from the Last Supper plus some prayers.

The service also includes a time for you to wash one another’s hands or feet, and a time to serve one another Holy Communion.

Our Bishop has given us permission to have “virtual Holy Communion” in this extraordinary time.  This is done in community while participating in an online worship service.

Join us on Facebook Live on Thursday, April 9 at 6:30pm as we worship together
https://www.facebook.com/TrinityUMCSarasota/

If your faith tradition has not given this permission, or you’re unable to worship with us live, consider replacing the communion portion of the service with a Love Feast. Instead of serving each other Holy Communion, share testimonies of God’s grace and goodness as you share sweet rolls and drinks. After the sharing, pray for one another and our world.

Here are some questions to get you started if you are having a Love Feast:

  • Where have you seen the goodness of God lately?
  • How did you come to faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior?
  • How are you growing in God’s grace?

What you will need for Holy Week at Home, Maundy Thursday:

  • A candle and something to light it with
  • 2 large bowls, a pitcher of water, soap, and a hand towel for each person
  • Copies of this resource for each person (optional if you’re joining us for online worship)
  • For Holy Communion- Plain bread, pita, crackers, or matzo. A small cup(s) of grape juice or red wine for each person
  • For a Love Feast- A sweet roll for each person. A cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for each person.

To begin:

  • Gather all you will need for the service
  • Gather your household in a quiet place. Silence all electronics.
  • Join us for the live online worship service.
  • 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.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THIS RESOURCE

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OPENING PRAYERModeled after a Jewish Sabbath prayer
PASTOR
Light the candle

Let’s pray this prayer together. Repeat after me

Merciful God, our Rescuer and Redeemer
Open wide our minds, to receive your Holy Word
sweep hands around to forehead
Open wide our hearts, to receive your saving love
sweep hands around to the chest
Open wide our spirits, and fill us full of light
sweep hands around to a cupped position in front of your chest

JESUS WASHES THE DISCIPLES’ FEET
– John 13:1-17, 34-35 NRSV
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him.

During supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you[c] are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”

WASHING ONE ANOTHER’S HANDS OR FEET
Pastor: As a sign of Christ’s love at work in us, we serve one another and are vulnerable to one another.

One person places their hands or feet over a bowl. Another person pours water over the hand/feet and uses the soap to wash. Take your time and express your care. The hands/feet are rinsed and dried. Repeat for every person present.

THE SERVANT SONG – read or sing
Brother, sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
in the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
when you laugh I’ll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow
till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven
we shall find such harmony,
born of all we’ve known together
of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

CCLI Song # 72673
Richard Gillard
© Words: 1977 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.) Music: 1977 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing (Admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.)
CCLI License # 686715

JESUS REVEALS THOSE WHO WILL BETRAY AND DENY HIM
– John 13:21-30, 36-38 NRSV
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking.

One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter, therefore, motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.

After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Later Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Denial, by Steve Garnaas Holmes

ALL:
I deny you, Christ when I deny my own divinity.
I deny you when I deny the divinity of those I condemn.
I deny you when I do not hear you in the oppressed and rejected.
I deny you when I turn from my glorious giftedness.
I deny you when I am afraid to stand with those at risk.
I deny you when in my guilt I doubt your love.

And still, you love.

Let remembering’s bitterness awaken me.
Let my weeping be my wisdom.
To the frightening, to the infinite,
to the compassionate, to the holy,
help me say yes.
Let me die with yes on my lips.

Moment of silence

If you are choosing the Love Feast option, begin now.
When you are finished, sing or read the closing song.

THE LAST SUPPER
PASTOR:
After the meal, Jesus prayed a prayer of thanksgiving.
Please repeat after me:

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who has saved our ancestors from Egypt
and who is saving us.
May your will be done
so your name is glorified in all the earth
and so all people
may be moved to worship you with one accord.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who brings forth bread from the earth.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who creates the fruit of the vine.
Amen. (end echo)

Then Jesus took the bread, broke it, gave it to those seated around the table and said, “Take, eat, this is my body broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then he took the cup, gave it to those seated around the table and said, “Drink from this all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant. Poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sin. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us gathered here
And on these gifts of bread and wine
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world, the Body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
The Seat of Greatest Grace by Steve Garnaas Holmes

ALL
Jesus, my Friend, my Beloved, my Person,
I love you, and I will falter.
I will deny you. I will betray you.
Three times, ten thousand times, I will deny you.

The silver pieces lie in my pocket
I have the nails

And you, knowing, invite me to your table,
to the place of honor even,
this seat of greatest grace, beside you,
to share your bread with me,
and lay down your body for me

I can hardly look into the sun of such forgiveness,
Love’s empty tomb that defeats me, re-makes me.

I confess. I return.
Knowing, I follow,
drawn in your grace,
this burden that is light.

HOLY COMMUNION
Persons serve each other.

PASTOR:
After supper, they sang a hymn and left for Gethsemane

OH, HOW HE LOVES YOU AND ME
Oh, how He loves you and me,
Oh, how He loves you and me.
He gave his life, what more could he give?
Oh, how He loves you; Oh, how he loves me;
Oh, how he loves you and me.

Jesus to Calvary did go,
His love for sinners to show.
What He did there brought hope from despair.
Oh, how He loves you; Oh, how he loves me;
Oh, how he loves you and me.

CCLI Song # 15850
Kurt Kaiser
© 1975 Curb Word Music (Admin. by WC Music Corp.)
CCLI License # 686715

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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.

Light in the Wilderness, a Lenten Rock Garden

Lent Garden 1

A few years ago, the good folks at Picture Lent suggested creating a wilderness rock garden as a visual reminder of the season. I loved the idea and continue to use it.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Sand
A tray
At least 40 rocks in a container
Tealight and holder
optional- additional symbols

ASSEMBLING THE ROCK GARDEN
Place a couple of inches of sand in the tray. I used a woven tray so I had to line it with parchment paper and place it on a solid tray.

Place the tealight in its holder on the sand. Add additional symbols if you like.

I use a mixture of rocks and shells from my travels in my garden. Use what’s meaningful to you.

Lent Garden 4 set up

USING THE ROCK GARDEN
Spend a few moments in quietness as you place a rock in the garden every day during Lent.

What does the rock mean to you?

  • Is it a burden you are releasing to God?
  • Are you marking your time with Jesus in the wilderness?
  • Is it a habit tracker for something you’ve given up for Lent or a holy habit you’ve added for Lent?
  • Something else?

On Sundays, light the candle instead of placing a rock in the garden. Every Sunday is a little Easter, even during Lent.

I’d love to hear your ideas for using the garden!

A Bible Reading Plan for Lent, based on the Gospel of Matthew

brown book page

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

Lent is a season of preparation leading to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter. It’s forty days long, not counting Sundays since every Sunday is a little Easter.

Many people give up something for Lent. (dessert, alcohol, bread, smoking, candy, meat, cursing, gambling, etc.) They fast a certain food or habit in remembrance of Jesus’ forty-day fast at the beginning of his ministry. Some folks use this fast to jumpstart a permanent fast of an unhealthy habit.

Other folks choose to start a holy or wholesome habit for Lent. (prayer, charitable giving, service to others, stillness, sabbath, fasting, regular worship attendance, etc.)

If you aren’t already reading scripture on a regular basis, I encourage you to chose this holy habit for Lent with the hopes it will become a regular part of your life.

Below you’ll find a Bible Reading Plan for Lent based on the Gospel of Matthew. It contains 30 Lenten readings (5 per week for 6 weeks starting on the first Sunday of Lent) plus 10 Easter readings about Jesus’ post-resurrection encounters. (5 per week for 2 weeks). These readings fit nicely in a two-month grouping.

I hope the reading plan is helpful for you. I’d love to hear how you’re using it. – Lisa <><

PS- If you don’t own a Bible, or need a translation of the Bible which is easy to read, consider using Bible Gateway. This is a free website and app with many excellent translations. (I like NRSV and The Voice) Click Here for a video demonstrating the site.

CLICK HERE for a PDF of the reading plan suitable for printing. 

Use these prompts as you read each Scripture.
ATTENTION: Read or listen to the Scripture. What word, phrase or verse captures your attention? Underline it or copy it onto a piece of paper.

CONNECTION: What connections do you see to other scriptures? To your own experience or current situation? To the character or promises of God?

ACTION: What is God inviting you to say or do? How will your life be different because of this scripture?

PRAY: Talk to God about what you just experienced or anything else on your heart.

Week 1 of Lent: March 1 – March 7

  • Matthew 1
  • Matthew 2
  • Matthew 3
  • Matthew 4
  • Matthew 5

Week 2 of Lent: March 8 – March 14

  • Matthew 6
  • Matthew 7
  • Matthew 8
  • Matthew 9
  • Matthew 10

Week 3 of Lent: March 15 – March 21

  • Matthew 11
  • Matthew 12
  • Matthew 13
  • Matthew 14
  • Matthew 15

Week 4 of Lent: March 22 – March 28

  • Matthew 16
  • Matthew 17
  • Matthew 18
  • Matthew 19
  • Matthew 20

Week 5 of Lent: March 29 –  April 4

  • Matthew 21
  • Matthew 22
  • Matthew 23
  • Matthew 24
  • Matthew 25

Holy Week: April 5 – April 11

  • Matthew 26:1-35
  • Matthew 26:36-56
  • Matthew 26:57-75
  • Matthew 27:1-31
  • Matthew 27:32-66

Week 1 of Easter: April 12 – April 18

  • John 20:1-18
  • John 20:19-31
  • John 21:1-14
  • John 21:15-25
  • Mark 16

Week 2 of Easter: April 19 – April 25

  • Luke 24:1-12
  • Luke 24:13-35
  • Luke 24:36-53
  • Matthew 28:1-10
  • Matthew 28:11-20

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A Bible Reading Plan for Lent, based on the Gospel of Matthew
© 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work with proper attribution. (by Lisa Degrenia http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

An Examen in the Wesleyan Tradition by Bishop Ken Carter

light sea dawn landscape

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

An examen is a set of reflection questions that encourage spiritual honesty and growth.

Reflection is an ancient practice, with references in the Bible (Lamentations 3:40-41; Galatians 6:4-5; 2 Corinthians 13:5). Ignatius of Loyola encouraged the practice with the early Jesuits, as did John Wesley with the early Methodists.

This examen was written by Ken Carter, Bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. It concludes a message, now monograph, entitled Defining and Growing an Inclusive, Gracious and Evangelical Center: The Future(s) of The United Methodist Church.

I encourage you to read this faithful, thoughtful work. Click Here for the entire message.

If you’re considering adding an examen to your spiritual practices, this would be a great choice, especially during Lent as you prepare for the victorious message of Christ at Easter. You could use the entire examen daily, several times a week, or one section each day.
– Lisa <><

Grace
I begin today by claiming my identity as one who is created in the image of God.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am of sacred worth and am uniquely gifted.
When I come to myself—the truth of who I am—I experience blessing.
I reflect on those persons who have been a part of my life today, who have seen this in me, who have encouraged me.
Have I really been attentive to them?
Have I fully accepted their gifts?
I stay with these encounters for a moment.
I see the faces of these persons and listen to their voices again.

Repentance
Next, I see the moments of my day that I regret.
I rely upon the fruit of the Holy Spirit, especially love, peace, and patience, for help in returning to these moments.
This is uncomfortable. And yet repentance that is of God is a return to the love God wants for me.
It is the journey home.
For a moment, I consider the ways I am stuck or lost. Why do I resist change?
I ask for the courage to return to God.

Confession
As I reflect on the day, I ask God to reveal the harm that I have done to others and the harm I have done to myself.
I make an honest assessment of my failures and mistakes.
Where I have not loved my neighbor as myself, I confess that I have sinned.
What is the sin that separates me from those closest to me?
How does arrogance, judgmentalism, ego or privilege distort the way I see others?
How have I buried my birthright gifts and refused to enjoy and share them?

Faith
I ask for the gift of God’s healing and renewing grace.
I set aside my own claims of righteousness or merit.
In faith, I say yes to Jesus Christ, who loves me and gave himself for me.
I place my trust in Jesus Christ alone for the gift of salvation.
And for a moment, I consider how I am actually living by faith.
Do I find it difficult to trust?
I return to the good news that I embraced when I first began to walk with Jesus.
I ask that God would empower me to live this day in faith.

Love
God has created me. God knows me.
God’s sacrificial love in the crucified Jesus is for my salvation.
When I have received the gift of faith, I become a more loving person.
And when I have placed my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, I become a part of his body, which is the church.
I boldly ask that I will be made perfect in love in this life—
that I will love God and love the people I encounter each day in God.
I ask that my love for God would grow as I read the scriptures,
spend time in prayer and receive communion as often as possible.
I ask God to give me a greater love for others,
especially those to whom I have made promises and covenants,
and those with whom I have differences.
I ask God for the happiness is taking the daily risk of living in grace, practicing repentance and confession,
and growing in a faith that expresses itself through love.
Amen.