In place of our usual Service Planning column, in which we offer a series of sendee ideas for several weeks, we present in this issue a single, complete Good Friday service. The service centers around the final sayings of Jesus on the cross, and was developed by organist Robert Busch for the 1991 Good Friday Service at theFlatbush Church of the Redeemer in Brooklyn, New York.
Articles in this issue:
How many extra services does your church plan during Holy Week? Traditionally, most Presbyterian and Reformed congregations have held a service on Good Friday. Some have also gathered for a sunrise service on Easter morning. But few have considered anything further.
In recent years, that pattern has begun to change. Worship planners have enthusiastically discovered the riches of a liturgical heritage that goes beyond traditional Holy Week offerings, and have added new services to their Holy Week schedules.
James Rawlings Sydnor. Chicago: GIA Publications, 1989.132 pages. $12.95.
Sydnor is a respected Presbyterian hymnologist who earlier wrote the helpful Hymns & Their Uses and Hymns: a Congregational Study (both published by Agape). Part One of his new book focuses on how to introduce a new hymnal to a congregation, how to understand the resources of a new hymnal, and how to thrive on "readiness, gradualness, repetition, and perseverance."
Last Ash Wednesday I pulled out all the stops. My congregation had participated in Ash Wednesday services before, but nothing like this one. Since I was relatively new to the church and still enjoying a honeymoon with the members, I remember feeling particularly brave and adventurous—probably too adventurous.
Shandra Wanamaker: I don't care what my father says about this whole mess. In my mind nothing would have happened if any other pianist played that music. The fact is, lots of people can't stand the way Jennifer dresses.
Jack Elsons: As elders, we had no choice. People are so scared about this New Age stuff that even a scent of it in our church is enough to start a whole round of witchcraft trials. If we did nothing, the whole place would have gone up in smoke. We had no choice.
In this reflection on Romans 13:11-12, Pastor Kelderman tells the story of the death of one of his parishioners. Kelderman first presented this message the week the parishioner died and repeated it as part of an Easter Vigil service at COLAM1991.
This dramatic reading of the Emmaus story from Luke's gospel is intended to be incorporated into an evening service on Easter Sunday, It requires the following voices:
This saipt follows the NTV text of Luke 24:13-35, and incorporates Old Testament passages, as indicated. Small changes were made in the biblical text to encourage greater clarity in this dramatic reading.
Were You There
The season of Lent is a time for Christians to learn more of what it means to be followers of Christ, whose love for us went all the way to the cross. The hymn "Were You There" provides a means by which we can thoughtfully relate the Lenten events to our own lives.
Praise to Our Risen Lord
Prelude and Personal Meditation
Choral Call to Worship: "Alleluia! Christ Is Risen!"
Our Easter Shout of Praise:
Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed!
Glory and honor, dominion and power, be to our God for ever and ever!
Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Our Easter Song of Praise: "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today"
[PsH 388, PH 113, RL 325, TH 277]
In December, 1990, our congregation—Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan—celebrated its 75th anniversary. Rather than trying to squeeze our celebration into a one-day program, we spread it out over the entire fall season, beginning with the Sunday in September when we kicked off our church programs and concluding with three very special Sundays in November and December.