Beginning Ash Wednesday and ending Easter Sunday, Lenten Postcards provides resources for pastors and communities to move closer to Christ through worship, prayer, reading, and participation.
Dr. Jesse C Middendorf and Rev. Stephanie Dyrness Lobdell have co-authored the daily Lenten devotional based on scriptures from the Book of Common Prayer. This devotional book can be used in faith communities along with the pastor’s download. Lenten Postcards devotionals are also available for faith communities in discounted packs of 10.
Below you will find a Good Friday service outline, which is also included in the pastor’s download for Lenten Postcards. Also included in the pastors download is weekly sermon outlines, small group discussion guides, children’s teaching outlines, family worship activities and more to help your community engage with the Word and each other. We look forward to walking through this season together.
GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE
This service should take on a somber and reflective tone. One way this effect can be achieved is through lighting. Candles are often used at Good Friday services, blown out periodically throughout the service so the sanctuary gets continually darker. Ultimately, the service should be left in silence and darkness.
*This is also a great service to incorporate artistic elements. Consider doing a creative service where your congregants can walk through the stations of the cross. Or display various fine art images of Christ’s crucifixion that have been depicted throughout history. These images can be a helpful way to connect visual learners and worshipers—including the youngest church members—with Christ’s sacrifice in a new way.
*The Good Friday color is black. Consider draping your cross in a black linen and/or placing black decor throughout the sanctuary. When you switch the colors to white for Easter, the imagery will be a powerful contrast.
*The Eucharist is optional for this service. Some communities choose not to receive the Eucharist between Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday, in order to emphasize the Last Supper of Thursday and the loss experienced on Friday and Saturday. This outline can be modified to include or exclude the Eucharist, depending on your context and preference.
Dramatic Reading of the Psalm
Psalm 22 or Psalm 40
“What Wondrous Love Is This?”
“O Praise the Name (Anastasis),” by Hillsong (consider omitting the words about the resurrection)
“Lead Me to the Cross,” by Hillsong United
Old Testament Reading
Lamentations 3:1–9, 19–33
*Option: Have one person read the first part and another read the second. Or, consider having background music change from lament to hopeful as well as the reader’s tone change.
“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (Sing to the Lord #239)
“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” “Is He Worthy?” by Andrew Peterson
John 13:36–38 John 19:38–42
Special Music or Congregational Singing
“Were You There?” (Sing to the Lord #250)
*(omit the verse about resurrection)
*optional and in response to the sermon
Instead of a traditional benediction, it is fitting to end the service somewhat abruptly and in tension. It is appropriate to end the service with a short prayer that doesn’t leave a lot of resolution. It’s a “to be continued” for the Sunday morning celebration. *There are many creative options for leaving: leaving in darkness and silence, ending with a song, or ending with a time of reflection over a particular song or piece of art.
Benediction based on 1 Peter 1:10–20
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.