For Good Friday: The Seven Words Service (B)

March 13, 2009

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 second service is the Seven Words Service (B), named as such
because I wrote two services using the seven words of Christ on the
cross. You can find Seven Words Service (A) here or download.

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

Seven Words Service (B)

This is the second Good Friday Service I wrote. These are barebones services that should be adapted to the space your community worships in and who will be facilitating worship (one person, two people, eight people). This service is based on the seven words Christ spoke during the crucifixion.

Summary: This is a linear version of the Seven Words Service (A). One reading opens the service, two songs would then be played; two more readings, two more songs, three more readings, then in the dark the minister would preach a 15 minute meditation followed by communion.
    The Seven Words:
        (1) Father, forgive them . . . (Luke 23:34)
            – Songs of forgiveness
        (2) This day you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43)
        (3) Woman, behold your son . . .(John 19:26-27)
            – Songs of hope
        (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)
            – Songs of lament
            – Meditation

NOTE: After the meditation communion may be served or the elements may be somberly marched out of the sanctuary, depending on your tradition and practice.

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.



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Thomas Turner has been blogging on Everyday Liturgy for the past six years. He enjoys reading, writing, cooking and gardening.

2 responses to For Good Friday: The Seven Words Service (B)

  1. Lionel Jackson April 3, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    very adaptable for my VA Chaplain Services

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