Welcome and Announcements
This Good Friday On Line Service is largely taken from the Passion portion of last week’s Palm/Passion service. I have added two gorgeous pieces of music, and I have removed the Palm sections, but otherwise it is the same except for the order. I republish it in case you did not make it all the way through or you want to revisit parts of it on Good Friday.
Please remember that we are gathering as a congregation by Zoom at 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings (including Easter) to say hello to one another and share our Joys and Concerns and Prayer requests and offer our compassion and support and company for this wilderness journey. Our Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle is also meeting by Zoom on Thursdays at 6:00 PM. This is for anyone who is interested in practicing mindfulness or meditation, or heartfulness and centering prayer, and it is a time for talking about those practices and also more generally about our spiritual life.
You can find links to instructions on how to be part of those Zoom gatherings on the Welcome Page of our website.
Please also see our Easter Sunrise home worship suggestions by clicking here. We will post the main Easter Service soon.
Now let us become centered and open our hearts to receive whatever the Spirit would have us receive here today.
Be absolutely sure to listen to the first two minutes of this, and if you can stop then, fine, but if like me you are hooked, you will, by the end, be solidly in a Good Friday place. This is a setting of the 51st Psalm part of which I read in the Maundy Thursday service.
Transition from Palm to Passion “Ride on, ride on in majesty!”
In the days following Palm Sunday the euphoria of the triumphant entrance quickly turned to tension. Jesus was not acting like the Messiah that the people had expected. He had not claimed the throne. He had no army of angels or men.
Yet Jesus had not let up on his radical preaching. He staged a nonviolent demonstration disrupting the business of the temple marketplace and shutting down temple worship. He challenged the authorities daily. It was clear this couldn’t last. Neither the powerful priests nor the Roman Empire would allow it.
Jesus kept going, boldly, bravely, riding on in a triumphant majesty that no human eyes could yet see toward a victory that even his friends would mistake for defeat. The story continues.
The First Scripture Reading Matthew 23:37-39 and Matthew 26:14-25, read by more than one reader.
The Second Scripture Reading Matthew 26:26-35
The Third Scripture Reading Matthew 26:36-46, and 26: 47-52, 56b, read by more than one reader.
Hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This,” Verse One Only
The Fourth Scripture Reading Matthew 26:57-75
Anthem One of the most heart-breakingly beautiful arias ever written—J. S. Bach takes us inside Peter’s remorse after his denial, which is to say that we enter the heart of the heart of Good Friday here.
The Fifth Scripture Reading Matthew 27:1-2, 11-26 and 27:27-32 and 27:33-44 and 27:45-56, read by multiple readers.
Hymn “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” The Passion Chorale
The Seventh Scripture Reading Matthew 27:57-66 and Philippians 2:1-13, read by more than one reader.
Hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”
You can read the text of this sermon, “Kenosis, Metanoia, Agape, Koinonia,” elsewhere on this website by clicking here.
A lone disciple at midnight on Good Friday kneels before candles on a cold hearth and tries to make sense of what has happened, seeking a way through darkness to light and hope. His voice is choked with sorrow and exhaustion. Please give him the comfort of adding your voice to his.
Christ Taught Us Love for All the Earth
tune: CONDITOR ALME L.M.
Christ taught us love for all the earth,
All people one, all equal worth.
Hear sorrow in his dying voice
To watch us fail to make love’s choice.
Earth can be saved if we change now.
Christ’s life and death have shown us how.
Let go of self, let power and wealth
Be ruled by love to serve earth’s health.
Christ is the way by any name.
All schools of wisdom say the same:
Compassion, love, heart open wide
To let the Spirit be our guide.
Choose emptiness, Christ on his cross.
We gain his heart and mind through loss.
Earth’s oneness rises through that choice,
The joy of new life in our voice.
copyright 2020 Thomas Cary Kinder
Now as you enter these last hard days of Lent, the time of greatest trial in the long wilderness, may you surrender your life and your will to God’s care, as Jesus did, and so find the path that leads through death to greater life. May you let this week move you and happen to you, trusting and resting in God’s love. May the love of God, the light of Jesus Christ and the life of the Holy Spirit guide you, bless you and keep you in the days ahead. Amen.
Coral Benediction “When Jesus Wept” by William Billings