Good Friday                                                                        April 7, 2023

WELCOME to each of you gathered for worship this morning.  Please take a moment to complete the attendance sheet inside your worship guide and place it in the offering plate when it is passed.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT “Sharing God’s love and His promise for tomorrowEngaging with God’s children to carry the light ofJesus Christ from the altar through the door.” Louis Sanders – Council PresidentVacant – Vice-PresidentDr. Eric Hahn – SecretaryAnni Hahn – Treasurer 

Love Lutheran Church

3730 MacArthur Blvd.

New Orleans, La 70114


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LOVE LUTHERAN CHURCH   Interim Clergy: Rev. Lisa Gaye                       Adult Bible Study:  9:00 A.M. Office: 504-362-1967                                               Worship:  10:00 A.M.  

Good Friday                                                                         April 7, 2023

At the heart of Good Friday are the seven last words, read within the story of the passion.  This is intended to be a time of personal meditation and reflection.  Good Friday is the day we contemplate the cross and the lengths to which our God would go to save us all.  It is a night to, as the song says, stand beneath the cross of Jesus.

(Enter in silence)

(Stand as you are able)


HYMN:  #ELW 353 “Were You There” v1-2

(printed in the back of the worship bulletin)


In the Garden – Matthew 26:36-41

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’  37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated.  38Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’  39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’  40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?  41Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’

Jesus is Betrayed – Mark 14:43-46

43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.  44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’  45 So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him.  46 Then they laid hands on him and arrested him.

(extinguish a candle on the altar)

(Silence is kept for reflection)


P:  God of silent prayer,

C:  Our spirits are willing but we are human and imperfect.  Help us to find strength to keep awake through the night darkens around us.  Guide us on our journey, O Holy One.

HYMN:  #ELW 347 “Go to Dark Gethsemane” v1-2

(printed in the back of the worship bulletin)


Jesus Before the Council – Luke 22:66-71

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council.  67 They said, ‘If you are the Messiah, tell us.’  He replied, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe; 68 and if I question you, you will not answer.  69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.’  70 All of them asked, ‘Are you, then, the Son of God?’  He said to them, ‘You say that I am.’  71 Then they said, ‘What further testimony do we need?  We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!’

Peter’s Denial – Matthew 26:69-75

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.  A servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’  70 But he denied it before all of them, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’  71 When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’  72 Again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’  73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.’  74 Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know the man!’  At that moment the cock crowed.  75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: ‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’  And he went out and wept bitterly.

(extinguish a candle on the altar)

(Silence is kept for reflection)

Crucify Him! – Matthew 27:1-2, 11-25

1 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death.  2 They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’  Jesus said, ‘You say so.’  12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer.  13 Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?’  14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

15 Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted.  16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas.  17 So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’  18 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over.  19 While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’  20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed.  21 The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’  And they said, ‘Barabbas.’  22 Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’  All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’  23 Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’  But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’

24 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.’  25 Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’

(extinguish a candle on the altar)

(Silence is kept for reflection)


P  Merciful Lord,

C:  Too often we join the crowd in their cries of, “Crucify him!”  Fill our hearts with the compassion and love that defined your time here on earth.  Guide us on our journey, O Holy One.

HYMN:  #ELW 338 “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” v1-2

(printed in the back of the worship bulletin)


Hail, King of the Jews – John 19:1-3

19 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.

Bearing the Cross – Matthew 27:31-33

31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him.  Then they led him away to crucify him.

32 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross.  33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull),

(extinguish a candle on the altar)

(Silence is kept for reflection)


P:  King of kings,

C:  You came to us as a king unlike any we had ever seen before.  Teach us that power need not come in the form of a clenched fist, but rather, can be found in the diligent hands of a servant.  Guide us on our journey, O Holy One.


Father, Forgive Them – Luke 23:33-34

33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.  [34 Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’]  And they cast lots to divide his clothing.

Jesus, Remember Me – Luke 23:29-43

29 For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.”  30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.”  31 For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.  33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.  [34 Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’]  And they cast lots to divide his clothing.  35 And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’  36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37 and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’  38 There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah?  Save yourself and us!’  40 But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?  41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’  42 Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’  43 He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

Jesus and Mary – John 19:25-27

25 And that is what the soldiers did.  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, here is your son.’  27 Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’  And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

(extinguish a candle on the altar)

(Silence is kept for reflection)


P:  Source of infinite mercy,

C:  Even in the face of death and humiliation, you sought forgiveness on our behalf.  May we learn to forgive as we have been forgiven.  Guide us on our journey, O Holy One.

HYMN:  #TOSB 220 “The Old Rugged Cross” v1-2

(printed in the back of the worship bulletin)


I Thirst/ It is Finished – John 19:28-30

28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil 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.

My God, My God – Matthew 27:45-46

45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

Into Your Hands – Luke 23:45-47

45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’  Having said this, he breathed his last.  47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, ‘Certainly this man was innocent.’

(extinguish a candle on the altar)

(Silence is kept for reflection)


P:  Steadfast God,

C:  We know that no matter how great our sin, you will not forsake us.  Be our anchor that holds us steady when the storms of life seek to sink us.  Guide us on our journey, O Holy One.

HYMN:  #TOSB 220 “The Old Rugged Cross” v3-4

(printed in the back of the worship bulletin)


The Tomb – Matthew 27:57-60

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus.  58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.  59 So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock.  He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.

(removal of the lit Christ candle from Sanctuary)

(Silence is kept for reflection)


P:  God of new beginnings,

C:  Through Jesus you defeated the powers of sin and death.  Help us to linger at the tomb as we marvel at your love for the world.  But always, may we remember that death does not have the final word.  Lift our tear-filled eyes toward the promise of new life that is the empty tomb.  Guide us on our journey, O Holy One.  Amen.

HYMN:  #ELW 353 “Were You There” v3-5

(printed in the back of the worship bulletin)

(Sanctuary lights are turned off)

(loud bang “The Strepitus” symbolizing the earthquake and the tomb rent open)

(lit Christ candle returns to Sanctuary representing rays of hope calling us to return on the Third Day)

(The Good Friday worship concludes without a benediction.)

(Retire in silence)

A basket is available as you leave for you Good Friday Offering

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Readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible with Apocrypha.

Copyrighted elements of Revised Common Lectionary, liturgical texts, and liturgical music used by permission of Augsburg Fortress under license number SB144485.  All music and portions of the liturgical music reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #A-705233.  All rights reserved.  Clipart and images as reprinted from license.


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On Good Friday the church remembers the crucifixion of her Lord.  Her remembrance, while solemn, is not a message of gloom, but a service of adoration of the Son of God, who as the Lamb of God, offered up his life to reconcile us to God.  Good Friday is part of the larger celebration of the mystery of salvation called the Triduum or Three Holy Days.  The Triduum begins Holy Thursday and culminates in the Easter Proclamation of the Easter Vigil.  The connected nature of the services of the Triduum should be savored.  Good Friday Tenebrae is not a liturgical funeral for Jesus, but an austere service of reflection, adoration of the Lamb, intercession, and quiet meditation.  Christians gather to celebrate the sacrifice of the cross.

Tenebrae means darkness.  Originally, the Tenebrae prayer service was developed in medieval monasticism as the monks’ daily office or prayer service for use during Holy Week.  The original Tenebrae followed a series of readings, liturgical texts, and Psalms to reflect on our Lord’s crucifixion and our sin which Jesus took to the cross for us.

As the middle service of the Three Holy Days, Good Friday Tenebrae was prepared for by the solemn stripping of the altar at the close of the Maundy Thursday liturgy.  The altar is the most prominent symbol of Christ in the church, and the bare altar powerfully recalls Christ’s abandonment before and in his passion.

Tonight’s service borrows from the Tenebrae tradition, replacing the lessons and psalms with hymns and seven candles to mark the hours of darkness while meditating on Jesus’ seven words from the cross.  An unhurried silence for meditation follows the hymn verse and prayer after each meditation.  The silence is broken by Christ’s next words from the cross.  Six of the seven candles are extinguished one-by-one as we watch Jesus take on our sin and crush Satan for us.  The lights of the sanctuary are dimmed as each candle is extinguished.  The seventh candle is never extinguished.  When Jesus died, his spirit continued to live with the Father.  The light of the last candle points with hope to the third day.  It is removed in darkness for a substantial time for silent prayer and meditation.  The service is closed with a “great noise”, in Latin, strepitus.  This recalls the earthquake at Jesus’ death and foreshadows the rending of Christ’s tomb in triumph at Easter.  The last Tenebrae candle is brought back into the sanctuary.  It anticipates the lighting of the Paschal Candle that is used in the Easter Vigil liturgy.

To underscore the connective nature between this middle service of the Triduum and Maundy Thursday and Easter, no benediction is pronounced.

Last modified: April 25, 2023