To the Cross

A Good Friday Service

This service of Scripture, song, and Supper is intended for use on Good Friday. It is designed to help people walk with Jesus to the cross during his Passion as they hear various passages of Scripture from Luke’s gospel, ideally read by people of various ages. Sections marked TWS are from The Worship Sourcebook, available at

Call to Worship

Who has believed what we have heard?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

Surely he has borne our infirmities

and carried our diseases;

yet we account him stricken,

struck down by God and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions,

crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the punishment that made us whole,

and by his bruises we are healed. (Isa. 53:1, 4-5, NRSV)

Prayer of Invocation

O Christ, who forsook no one

but was forsaken by the closest of friends,

and who committed no crime yet was sentenced to a criminal’s death,

we enter your presence in awe and adoration.

On this day, centuries ago, you could have saved your life,

but you refused to betray the purpose for which you had been born.

You had come into the world to love God and neighbor as yourself;

and when that love required you to shoulder a cross,

you summoned the strength to bear it.

Today, O Christ, as we sing and pray about the cross,

teach us its meaning once again

and help us to take up our cross and follow you. Amen.

(TWS M.1.4.2)


Greeting: Galatians 1:3-5

Song: “Above All” (Paul Baloche and Lenny LeBlanc,

Scripture: Luke 19:28-44: The Triumphal Entry

Prayer of Confession

As we remember Christ’s suffering in Gethsemane,

our hearts are filled with shame that we foolishly waste our time in idleness

and that we make little to no progress in the Christian life from day to day.

We lament that war and lust flourish and grow more rampant every day.

Forgive us for our cruel indifference to the cross.

Teach us the good news of your forgiveness.

Allow humanity, degenerate as it is, to live anew,

and hasten the day when the whole world shall be born again. Amen.

(TWS M.2.2.2)

Song: “Man of Sorrows—What a Name” CH 311, PsH 482, TH 246, WR 301

Scripture: Luke 20:9-19: The Parable of the Tenants

Song: “Were You There” CH 315, PH 102, PsH 377, SFL 167, TH 260, WR 283

Scripture: Luke 20:41-21:4: The Son of God and The Widow’s Offering


Scripture: Luke 22:7-23: The Last Supper

The Lord’s Supper (based on Luke 22:7-23)

Song: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” CH 321/324, PH 100/101, PsH 384, SFL 166, TH 252, WR 261

Scripture: Luke 22:39-46: Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

Song: “Beautiful, Scandalous Night” (Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong,

Scripture: Luke 23:26-43: The Crucifixion

Song: “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” CH 316, PH 98, PsH 383, TH 247,WR 284

Scripture: Luke 23:44-56: Jesus’ Death and Burial

Closing Remarks


Holy God, you have opened our ears to hear your Word and our lips to proclaim your truth: open our eyes this day to see in the cross the revelation of your love; through Jesus the crucified, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, be honor and praise, now and forever. Amen. (TWS M.9.1.7)


May you find in the cross a sure ground for faith,

a firm support for hope, and the assurance of sins forgiven.

And may the blessing of God go with you, now and forevermore. Amen. (TWS M.9.2.1)

Song: “Once Again (Jesus Christ)” (Matt Redman,

Rev. Leon H. Johnston is a pastor and director of faith formation at Neerlandia Christian Reformed Church in Alberta, Canada.

Reformed Worship 98 © December 2010, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.