Worship Notes and Prayers for Holy Week

Worship Notes and Prayers for Holy Week and Easter

Dear Friends,

I have prepared Worship Notes for Good Friday which can be found here.  

Good Friday is the saddest day in the Church’s year.  I  suggest making the service simple and reflective. Use the power of image and silence, and sermon and music to mark Jesus’ death. Help folk ponder some of what that death might mean. We have many theologies and explanations of the Cross but on Good Friday realise that, in the face of the God who died, they are all partial.

You may wish to project an image of the crucifixion if you have a screen. Find Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross or Chagall’s White Crucifixion as stunning pieces of art to aid reflection. If possible have a large cross in a central place in the church. Traditionally all table cloths, flowers, cushions on presiders’ chairs etc are removed making the church look as stark as possible.  I  know of one minister who overturns chairs around the edge of the church to make the disruption of the Cross echo with resonance in the church. (If you do this tell the Elders not to put them right until after the service!)   As in the suggestions for Palm Sunday you may wish to have the Passion Reading, this time from St John’s Gospel,  read by three voices.  The Worship Notes suggests where this can be found along with hymns and prayer suggestions.  I include a version of the Reproaches (a traditional responsorial prayer for Good Friday written from Christ’s viewpoint) from the Presbyterian Church of the USA.

The Rev’d Paul Whittle has prepared the Worship Notes for Easter Sunday – the most joyful day of our year..  Paul reveals a chocolate fixation with his All Age Activity, suggests looking at the Gospel reading, St John 20: 1- 18, from Mary Magdalene’s perspective.  We include a Call to Worship and Affirmation of Faith which reflects the Easter theme; you might want to use these for every Sunday in Eastertime to reinforce the fact that the season lasts for 50 days.  As usual we include a range of hymns.  Paul also includes a Communion Rite which is  especially good for a Zoom celebration.  These notes can be found using the link, above.

I am indebted to the Rev’d Dr Elizabeth Welch who has written weekly intercessions for Easter Sunday.  As ever we produce more up to date ones each week to offer an alternative to those in the Worship Notes which are written some time in advance.  Elizabeth’s prayers can be downloaded here.

I hope your Holy Week and Easter celebrations encourage you in your own discipleship.

with every good wish


The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship


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