April 18, 2014: Good Friday
ABOUT THIS SERVICE
Originally, Good Friday was known as Paschal Day. Paschal is a term derived from the word “Pesach,” which is the Hebrew word for Passover. This is the day that the death of Jesus is commemorated by the church. The term Good Friday comes from the English church. In Old English, “Good” meant “Holy,” so the title Good Friday means Holy Friday; and while the events of this day are certainly somber, they are indeed ‘good’ because they are part of God’s larger redemption story whereby Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross opens the way for all the world to receive salvation.
Traditionally, Good Friday services have been held in churches from 1 to 3 pm in the afternoon, although in recent years more services are being held on Friday evening. In all Christian churches, the Good Friday service focuses on the Passion of Jesus Christ. In Protestant churches, the stripping of the altar and removing all adornment from the sanctuary often occurs at the end of the Maundy Thursday service the night before.
Tonight, our Good Friday service remembers the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life and those who witnessed the events that occurred. Throughout the service Scripture will be read, a number of characters will testify to what they saw and heard, music will be offered and prayer will be lifted up — so that each of us may consider for ourselves who Jesus Christ is in our lives.
There will also be an opportunity for each person to come forward and place a fingerprint on the muslin, which is draped on the cross. Our fingerprints are uniquely ours and this symbol reminds us that God created each one of us and loves each one of us — and yet, so often we betray His love. Our hope is that through this service all of your senses are engaged and that you become more aware of your need for a Savior so that when you return on Easter morning the resurrection of Jesus Christ will be even more meaningful and heartfelt.
May the Holy Spirit work in and through you to guide your thoughts, words, and deeds as you draw closer to Christ on this Good Friday.
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