For Good Friday: The Seven Words Service (A)

As I help to plan the first Good Friday service at The Plant I wrote four different services, each unique in their own way and highly adaptable to many different traditions and needs.

The first service is the Seven Words Service A, named as such because I wrote two services using the seven words of Christ on the cross.

I have attached a copy of the service as a pdf.  The full text of the service is after the jump.

Seven Words Service (A)

Summary:    A different person would read each of the seven words.  A song (just verse and chorus) would be played after the reading.  The minister gives a 2-3 minute mediation on the word.

The Seven Words:
(1) Father, forgive them . . . (Luke 23:34)
(2) This day you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43)
(3) Woman, behold your son . . .(John 19:26-27)
(4) My God, my God . . . (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)
(5) I thirst. (John 19:28)
(6) It is finished! (John 19:30)
(7) Father into your hands . . . (Luke 23:46)

After the last word, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,” ask the congregation to participate in communion and commend their spirits to God.

Setting:        The candles would be lit and one extinguished after each word until for the last word there are no Lent candles lit.  After the seventh word is read the candelabras would be extinguished and the two or three tea lights on the communion table would be the only light in the room.

Suggestions:     I think the gravity of communion would be increased if each member exited after he or she took communion.  This brings up the point of communion during the Good Friday service. The church I am a part of participates in communion on Good Friday and it is woven into our tradition.  If you are member of a church that does not partake of communion on Good Friday the congregation should promptly exit after the seventh meditation, following the minister(s) and the elements out or exit as the minister(s) place black clothes onto the elements.