MEDITATION: “He was wounded on account of our transgressions; he was bruised on account of our iniquities. He endured the chastisement that bought our peace.” (Isaiah 53)
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
Congregation: because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Leader: We glory in your cross, O Lord, and praise and glorify your holy resurrection,
Congregation: for by virtue of your cross, joy has come to the whole world.
Leader: Let us pray.
All: Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
HYMN 298: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”
Dear People of God: Our heavenly Father sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved; that all who believe in him might be delivered from the power of sin and death and become heirs with him of everlasting life. We pray, therefore, for people everywhere according to their needs.
Let us pray for the Church of Christ throughout the world; for its unity in witness and service; for all bishops and other ministers and the people whom they serve; for our own congregation: that God will confirm his Church in faith, increase it in love, and preserve it in peace.
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us pray for all nations and peoples of the earth, and for those in authority among them; for Donald, the President of the United States; for the Congress and the Supreme Court; for the Members and Representatives of the United Nations; for all who serve the common good: that by God’s help they may seek justice and truth, and live in peace and concord.
Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility your dominion may increase, until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us pray for all who suffer and are afflicted in body or in mind; for the hungry and the homeless, the destitute and the oppressed; for the sick, the wounded, and the disabled; for those in loneliness, fear, and anguish; for those who face temptation, doubt, and despair; for the sorrowful and bereaved; for prisoners and captives, and those in mortal danger: that God in his mercy will comfort and relieve them, and grant them the knowledge of his love, and stir up in us the will and patience to minister to their needs.
Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: Let the cry of those in misery and need come to you, that they may find your mercy present with them in all their afflictions; and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us pray for all who have not received the Gospel of Christ; for those who have never heard the word of salvation; for those who have lost their faith; for those hardened by sin or indifference; for the contemptuous and the scornful; for those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and persecutors of his disciples; for those who in the name of Christ have persecuted others: that God will open their hearts to the truth, and lead them to faith and obedience.
Merciful God, creator of all the peoples of the earth and lover of souls: Have compassion on all who do not know you as you are revealed in your Son Jesus Christ; let your Gospel be preached with grace and power to those who have not heard it; turn the hearts of those who resist it; and bring home to your fold those who have gone astray; that there may be one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us commit ourselves to our God, and pray for the grace of a holy life, that, with all who have departed this world and have died in the peace of Christ, and those whose faith is known to God alone, we may be accounted worthy to enter into the fullness of the joy of our Lord, and receive the crown of life in the day of resurrection.
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Isaiah 52:13—53:12
EPISTLE LESSON Hebrews 9:11-15; 10:1-10
OFFERTORY ANTHEM: “Tenebrae Factae Sunt” (G. Croce, arr. deSilva)
Darkness fell when they crucified Jesus; and at about the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” And he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.
THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN (JOHN 18:1–19:42)
Jesus … went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.”
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I refuse to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
The first candle is extinguished.
HYMN 290: “Go to Dark Gethsemane,” verse 1
So the soldiers, their officer, and the officers of the Judean authorities arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish authorities that it was better to have one person die for the people.
The second candle is extinguished.
Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17 The woman said to Peter, “Aren’t you also one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.
The third candle is extinguished.
Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jewish people come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
The fourth candle is extinguished.
HYMN 289: “Ah! Holy Jesus,” verse 1
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You’re also one of his disciples, aren’t you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.
The fifth candle is extinguished.
HYMN 289: “Ah! Holy Jesus,” verse 2
Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid pollution so that they would be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jewish authorities replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.
The sixth candle is extinguished.
HYMN 290: “Go to Dark Gethsemane,” verse 2
Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”
The seventh candle is extinguished.
After Pilate had said this, he went out to the Jewish authorities again and told them, “I find no case against him. 39 But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 40 They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.
The eighth candle is extinguished.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. 3 They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face.
4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Look at the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” 7 The Jewish authorities answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”
8 Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. 9 He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
The ninth candle is extinguished.
HYMN #286: “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”
From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish authorities cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.” 13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Look at your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.”
16 Then he handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.
The tenth candle is extinguished.
ANTHEM: “Crucifixus” from Mass in B-Minor (J. S. Bach)
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered death, and was buried.
So they took Jesus; 17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’, but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
The eleventh candle is extinguished.
HYMN 287: “O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top.
24 So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And that is what the soldiers did.
The twelfth candle is extinguished.
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, that’s your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “This is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
The thirteenth candle is extinguished.
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The fourteenth candle is extinguished.
HYMN 282: “‘Tis Finished! The Messiah Dies”
Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jewish authorities did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35 (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) 36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”
The Christ candle is extinguished.
After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.
41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
HYMN 296: “Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle”
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgment and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
May Jesus Christ, who for our sake became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, keep you and strengthen you this night and for ever. Go in peace.
All depart in silence, except those beginning a prayer vigil.