Good Friday Worship – Seven Last Words from the Cross

 

Welcome to St Andrew’s and St George’s West online service for Good Friday. 

Listen to the service in the sound file below. You can download the order of service here or follow the version below.

 

Introduction

Call to Worship

Holy One, we gather to worship you
even as we hear the ragged breathing of the one carrying the cross,
even as we hear him stumble and fall.
Give us strength to hear the story once again.
Do not let us turn away from this bleak day.
Be with us in this darkness.

Hymn 378 Praise to the Holiest in the height

Praise to the holiest in the height
And in the depths be praise
In all his words most wonderful
Most sure in all his ways

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame
A second Adam to the fight
And to the rescue came

O wisest love! That flesh and blood
Which did in Adam fail
Should strive afresh against the foe
Should strive and should prevail

O generous love! that he who smote
On Man, for man, the foe
The double agony in Man
For man should undergo

And in the garden secretly
And on the Cross on high
Should teach his brethren and inspire
To suffer and to die

Praise to the Holiest in the height
And in the depth be praise
In all his words most wonderful
Most sure in all his ways.

Prayer of Approach

We stand at the cross and listen

The First Word: Luke 23:32-34

Reader 1: Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said,

Reader 2: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

Reader 1: And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Choir: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do

The Second Word: Luke 23:39-43

Reader 1: One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him,

Reader 2: I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.

Choir: Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.

The Third Word: John 19:25-27

Reader 1: Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother,
Reader 2: Dear woman, here is your son
Reader 1: and to the disciple,
Reader 2: Here is your mother.
Reader 1: From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Choir: Behold your son: behold your mother

The Fourth Word: Mark 15:33-36

Reader 1: At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice

Reader 2: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

Reader 1: which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah… Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”

Choir: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Hymn 392 When I survey the wondrous cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it Lord that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrifice them to his blood

See! from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

The Fifth Word: John 19:28,29

Reader 1: Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said,
Reader 2: I am thirsty.
Reader 1: A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.

Choir: I thirst

The Sixth Word: Luke 23:44-46a

Reader 1: it was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out in a loud voice
Reader 2: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

Choir: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit

The Last Word: John 19:30

Reader 2: It is finished
Reader 1: When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Choir: It is finished

(Silence)

Luke 23:47

Reader 1 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Choir: Were you there, when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there, when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble.
Were you there, when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there?

Music: Bob Chilcott (b. 1955)

Worship led by Rev Dr Rosie Magee

The Seven Last Words were composed by Andrew Carvel
Sung by the Choir of St Andrew’s and St George’s West, recorded in 2016

 

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