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GOOD FRIDAY WORSHIP SERVICE
THE NAILS OF THE CROSS

With Tennebrae


The following is a Good Friday Worship Service first written by Richard Fairchild in 1993. It is of the genre known as "The Service of The Nails". Included in it is also what is known as Tenebrae "the extinguishing of the light". Unlike most of our special liturgies for Good Friday ("The Way of The Cross", "Were You There", and "The Seven Last Words") this service can be executed by one leader - though for the various readings of scripture we recommend that one or more lay readers take part. The drama in this service comes not so much from the presentation - but from the actions called for near the end of the service. A life-sized rough wooden cross with suitable bracing needs to be erected in the sanctuary and a hammer and enough nails for all who attend need to be obtained. The sanctuary may also be draped in black. Music leaders should note that special wording for "Were You There" has been written for this service.

GOOD FRIDAY WORSHIP SERVICE
The Nails of The Cross
b-gdfrsu.y-b 480880

MUSICAL PRELUDE


INTRODUCTION TO THE SERVICE
The service tonight is known as the "Service of The Nails".  It is a series
of readings, responses, and silent reflection and prayer  designed to help
us enter more deeply into the meaning of Good Friday.   Everyone is
requested to take a nail from the basket, if they do not have one yet, and
to keep it with them for use during the service.  For most of the service,
including the entrance, you are asked to remain seated.

Let us now prepare in silence to worship our God.....


                              THE APPROACH

CALL TO WORSHIP                                             ISAIAH 52:13-15
L  The Lord be with you.
P  And also with you
L  See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and
   shall be very high.  Just as there were many who were astonished at him
   --so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form
   beyond that of mortals-- so he shall startle many nations;  kings shall
   shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them
   they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall
   contemplate.


* HYMN:  "O Come and Mourn With Me Awhile"                         - VU 136


PRAYER OF APPROACH
L  Let us pray.
P  O merciful God, you did not spare your only Son, but offered him up for
   us all, that he might bear our sins upon the cross.  Grant that we
   might so examine ourselves that we realize our own sinfulness, so great
   as to spiritually crucify him anew.  Help us to recognize those nails
   which we drive into his cross today, and transform us into more
   faithful disciples in his name.  Amen.


ANTHEM:  What Wondrous Love


                         THE NAILS OF THE CROSS

THE NAIL OF PRIDE                                             MARK 12:38-40
   As he taught, Jesus said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk
   around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the
   marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places
   of honour at banquets!  They devour widows' houses and for the sake of
   appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater
   condemnation."
	
   - Extinguishing The Light
   
   Meditation and Prayer  (beginning with silence)
   L   O God - help us consider our own pride and where it leads.
   P   O God - do not let us deceive ourselves.  
       Our pride hurts us and creates walls between us and others.
   L   O God, we know too that our pride hurts you.

   Sung Response  (and Chorus)
   Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 
   Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

   * Chorus   Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
              Were you there when they crucified my Lord.


THE NAIL OF BETRAYAL                                       MATTHEW 26:47-56
   While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with
   him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and
   the elders of the people.  Now the betrayer had given them a sign,
   saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him."  At once he came
   up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him.  Jesus said
   to him, "Friend, do what you are here to do."  Then they came and laid
   hands on Jesus and arrested him.  Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put
   his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high
   priest, cutting off his ear.  Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword
   back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the
   sword.  Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at
   once send me more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would
   the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?"  At
   that hour Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and
   clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit?  Day after day I sat in
   the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me.  But all this has taken
   place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled."  Then
   all the disciples deserted him and fled.

   - Extinguishing The Light

   Sung Response (and chorus)
      Where you there when he walked the road alone? 
      Were you there when he walked the road alone? 

      * Chorus   Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
                 Were you there when he walked the road alone?

   Meditation and Prayer  (beginning with silence)
   L   O God - help us consider how we betray others, how we abandon
       them in their time of need, how we think of ourselves first.
   P   O God - do not let us deceive ourselves.  
       Our acts of betrayal hurt us and create walls between us and others.
   L   O God, we know too that our betrayal hurts you.


THE NAIL OF ENVY                                           MATTHEW 20:20-28
   Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and
   kneeling before him, she asked a favour of him.  And he said to her,
   "What do you want?" She said to him, "Declare that these two sons of
   mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your
   kingdom."  But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking.
   Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?"  They said to
   him, "We are able."  He said to them,"You will indeed drink my cup, but
   to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but
   it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."  When the
   ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers.  But Jesus called
   them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it
   over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.  It will not be
   so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your
   servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave;
   just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give
   his life a ransom for many."

   - Extinguishing The Light
   
   Sung Response (and chorus)
      Were you there when they stripped him of his clothes? 
      Were you there when they stripped him of his clothes? 

      * Chorus   Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
                 Were you there when they stripped him of his clothes?

   Meditation and Prayer  (beginning with silence)
   L   O God - help us consider how we envy others, how we desire more
       than we receive and seek to influence and rule over others.
   P   O God - do not let us deceive ourselves.  
       Our envy hurts us and creates walls between us and others.
   L   O God, we know too that our envy hurts you.

   
THE NAIL OF INDECISION                                     MATTHEW 27:20-24
   Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for
   Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.  The governor again said to them,
   "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?"  And they said,
   "Barabbas."  Pilate said to them, "Then what should I do with Jesus who
   is called the Messiah?"  All of them said, "Let him be crucified!" 
   Then he asked, "Why, what evil has he done?"  But they shouted all the
   more, "Let him be crucified!"  So when Pilate saw that he could do
   nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and
   washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's
   blood; see to it yourselves."

   - Extinguishing The Light
   
   Sung Response (and chorus)
      Were you there when they nailed him to the cross? 
      Were you there when they nailed him to the cross? 

      * Chorus   Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
                 Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?

   Meditation and Prayer  (beginning with silence)
   L   O God - help us consider how we waver, how we seek to avoid
       responsibility and to blame others for our actions.
   P   O God - do not let us deceive ourselves.  
       Our indecision hurts us and creates walls between us and others.
   L   O God, we know too that our indecision hurts you.


THE NAIL OF CRUELTY                                 MATTHEW 27:27-31, 39-42
   Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's
   headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him.  They
   stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some
   thorns into a crown, they put it on his head.  They put a reed in his
   right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of
   the Jews!"  They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the
   head.  After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own
   clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.  Those who
   passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "You who would
   destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  If you
   are the Son of God, come down from the cross."  In the same way the
   chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking
   him, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.  He is the King
   of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in
   him."

   - Extinguishing The Light
   
   Sung Response (and chorus)
      Were you there when they mocked the son of God?  
      Were you there when they mocked the son of God? 

      * Chorus   Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
                 Were you there when they mocked the son of God?.

   Meditation and Prayer  (beginning with silence)
   L   O God - help us consider how we are cruel to others, how we malign
       and slander others and add to the evil that comes upon them.
   P   O God - do not let us deceive ourselves.  
       Our cruelty hurts us and creates walls between us and others.
   L   O God, we know too that our cruelty hurts you.


THE NAIL OF HATRED                                          LUKE 6:22,32-35
   "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you,
   revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.  If you love
   those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love
   those who love them.  If you do good to those who do good to you, what
   credit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same.  If you lend to
   those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you?  Even
   sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love your
   enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.  Your reward
   will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is
   kind to the ungrateful and the wicked."
	
   - Extinguishing The Light

   Sung Response (and chorus)
      Were you there when the sun refused shine?  
      Were you there when the sun refused shine? 

      * Chorus  Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
                Were you there when the sun refused to shine?.

   Meditation and Prayer  (beginning with silence)
   L   O God - help us consider how we show hate to others, how we fail to
       care for others and make distinctions among them.
   P   O God - do not let us deceive ourselves.
       Our hatred hurts us and creates walls between us and others.
   L   O God, we know too that our hatred hurts you.
   

                              THE RESPONSE

ACT OF CONFESSION                                             ISAIAH 53:4-6
L  Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed
   him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.  
P  He was wounded for our transgressions 
   and he was bruised for our iniquities.  
   Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole.
L  All we like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to our own
   way; and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.
   
       As the music to "Were You There" is played the congregation
       is asked to come forward with their nail and drive it part
       way into the cross placed in front of the pulpit.
      

RESPONSIVE READING: THE PROMISE OF MERCY                     ISAIAH 53:7-13
L  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
   like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before
   its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
P  By a perversion of justice he was taken away.  
   Who could have imagined his future? 
   For he was cut off from the land of the living, 
   stricken for the transgression of my people.

- Extinguishing The Light

L  They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich,
   although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
P  Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. 
   When you make his life an offering for sin, 
   he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; 
   through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
L  Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction
   through his knowledge.  
P  The righteous one, God's servant, shall make many righteous, 
   and he shall bear their iniquities. 
L  Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall
   divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to
   death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of
   many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


ANTHEM: My Song Is Love Unknown


* PRAYER OF DEDICATION:
L  Lord God, you have given us everything. 
P  You have not held anything back, not even your only begotten son.
L  With humble hearts we thank you.
P  In new hope we offer to you and for the work of salvation our every
   gift and our very selves.
L  Be pleased, O God, in the name of Jesus, to accept all that we offer at
   this time.  Look upon the intentions of our hearts.  Hear our prayers
   and in you love answer.
   ............... (silent prayer) ..............
L  We ask all these things through him who taught us to pray to you,
   saying
P  Our Father....


* HYMN: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"                         - VU 149


* BENEDICTION


* THREE-FOLD AMEN & CHORAL BLESSING: "Go Now In Peace"


       For an interesting addition to this service, 
       open Ribbons and Nails in a new window.  In it
       you will find a suggestion from one of our readers.

			
copyright - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild & Charlene E. Fairchild 1993-2006
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.



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