Holy Week (The week beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter) is one of my favorite seasons of the church year. With the emotional extremes from hope/rally cry on Palm Sunday, to the intimacy/humility of Maundy Thursday, to the sorrow and shame of Good Friday and finally the victorious celebration on Easter Sunday, it’s so different from the rest of the church year. At Journey, we haven’t been able to hold Maundy Thursday services yet, but it’s something we’re thinking of adding next year. We do, however, hold a good Friday service every year and it’s an amazing time of worship.
Good Friday Worship:
We did an unusual focus this year and centered around Luke 23:45 and Mark 15:38, where it says that at the moment of Jesus’ death, the temple curtain was split from top to bottom. Our focus was on what that curtain represented – our separation from God because of our sin. We read a series of verses from Genesis to the New Testament focusing on the separation from God and what God did to restore the relationship between us, culminated in the payment Jesus made in His death on the cross. Throughout the service, we had a black veil on the cross in front of the auditorium. As we read the verse about the temple veil being torn, we removed the veil and ripped it in two. Then we ripped it into smaller pieces and gave everyone a strip of the torn veil as a reminder that they are no longer separated from God but restored. I love the symbolism of Mark 15:38, where Mark says that the veil was torn from top to bottom – not bottom to top – because it was God coming to us, not anything we did.
The Worship on Good Friday:
- Beautiful the Blood by Steve Fee
- Glorious Day by Casting Crowns
- Readings from Genesis 3:6-15 and Isaiah 54:2
- Chief of Sinners arranged by myself (I’m providing the lead sheet here for anyone to use. If you use it, let me know!)
- The Day of Atonement – the sacrifice that had to be made each year and the connection to Christ’s sacrifice
- God So Loved video from WorshipHouseMedia.com
- Readings from the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion and New Testament verses explaining the significance of the sacrifice
- Jesus Paid it All by Kristian Stanfill
- Tearing the Veil
- The Stand by Hillsong
We launched a new series on Easter entitled Signs: Looking for Something More. We’re looking at miracles throughout scripture and looking at the message behind them. We looked not only at Jesus resurrection but God’s power over death all through scripture, including Elijah bringing a widow’s son back to life, Jesus raising Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter.
The Easter Service:
- My Savior Lives by Jon Egan
- Our God by Chris Tomlin
- Alive in Us by Hillsong
- The Message
- God is Able by Hillsong
- Offering and Prayers
- Happy Day by Tim Hughes
This blog is part of the Sunday Setlists Blog Carnival over at TheWorshipCommunity.com. Stop by and see what other churches did for Easter!