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Lessons and Hymn Suggestions

Ash Wednesday – Good Friday, Cycle C

March 22, 2022 – April 15, 2022


NOTE: LBW – Lutheran Book of Worship (The Green Book)

WOV – With One Voice (The Blue Book)

LSB – Lutheran Service Book (The Maroon Book)

ELW – Evangelical Lutheran Worship (The Cranberry Book)


There are versions of some hymns that are superior in LSB and I recommend using them if possible. Also, there are some superb hymns in LSB that aren’t available in the other hymnals. When I suggest one of the latter, I try to include an alternative from LBW or WOV. I recommend that a license and DVD of downloadable hymns from LSB be purchased if you are looking to expand your hymnody. There are, in ELW, some familiar hymns that have been drastically altered, which I try to note. ELW also has some fine hymns not available in the other hymnals, or has, interestingly, a more “traditional” translation or harmonization.


Color for the day is indicated for each Sunday. Primary liturgical calendar taken from Sola Publishing (, based on LSB. Also, I include the lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) found in ELW and used in some congregations. It often overlaps the Sola/LCMS calendar lectionary, but when there are differences, I will note them.


I’ve also included a complete Tenebrae service for Good Friday. This is one I’ve used at my little churches. Feel free to use different hymns, but the ones I chose seemed to fit the readings.


Because some of the prayers of confession, as well as offertory and post-communion prayers, provided on certain resource pages lack theological heft or linguistic elegance, I have added some seasonal prayers that you are free to cut, paste, and revise as needed. They are modified from the copyright-free Online Book of Common Prayer, or are my own creation. These are found on the following pages. The regular prayers of intercession will, as usual, be provided weekly in their own Word documents.







A Brief Order of Confession and Holy Absolution for Lent


P: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son+, and of the Holy Spirit: Amen.

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

P: Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,

C: Have mercy and hear us. Though we are poor sinful creatures, have mercy and hear us. Though we have turned from you and grieved you, have mercy and hear us. Though we have hardened our hearts against you and against our sisters and brothers, have mercy and hear us. Though we deserve judgment, wrath, and condemnation, for the sake of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy and hear us. Forgive us, heal us, and save us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

P: God hates nothing that he has made and forgives the sins of all those who are penitent. He shall create in us new and contrite hearts, so that we who worthily lament our sins and acknowledge our wretchedness, may receive from him, the God of all mercy, perfect remission, and forgiveness. This he promises through Jesus Christ, his Son, who is our Lord, our Savior, and our righteousness forever. AMEN.


A Spoken Gospel Acclamation for Lent:


                C: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Your words, O Lord, are Spirit and life.


An Offertory Prayer for Lent

P: Let us pray.

C: What can we render to you, Lord, for all your benefits to us? All we have is yours. Our lives are in your hands. Receive, hallow, and use our time, talents, and treasures, for the love of your Son and the benefit of those he came to save. Amen.


A Proper Preface for Lent


The Lord be with you.    And also with you.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. You bid your faithful people cleanse their hearts, and prepare with joy for the Paschal feast; that, fervent in prayer and in works of mercy, and renewed by your Word and Sacraments, they may come to the fullness of grace which you have prepared for those who love you.. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who forever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:


A Eucharistic Prayer for Lent


Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all. He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.


On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.”


After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.”


Sanctify these gifts of bread and wine by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.


All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and forever.  AMEN.



A Post-Communion Prayer for Lent


P: Let us pray. Almighty and ever-living God,

C: You have given your only Son to be for us both a sacrifice for sin and also an example of godly life. Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive these his inestimable gifts, and also daily endeavor to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.





Wednesday, March 2, 2022: Ash Wednesday


Joel 2:12-19 (return to the Lord with all your heart; sanctify a fast)

 Psalm 51 (wash me from my sins; put a right spirit within me)

 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 (be reconciled with God; don’t let his grace be in vain; we have suffered for your sake

 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21(fast, pray, give alms, but don’t show them off before others)




Opening Hymn: None; Psalm 51 is spoken or chanted

     OR O Lord, Throughout These Forty Days: LBW #99, ELW #319 LSB #418

 Hymn of the Day: Out of the Depths I Cry to You: LBW #295, ELW #600

LSB #607, From Depths of Woe I Cry To You (different translation)

 Communion Hymn #1: Today Your Mercy Calls Us: LBW #304, LSB #915

     OR God Loved the World So That He Gave: ELW #323 (tune is  “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross)

Communion Hymn #2:, Jesus, Your/Thy Blood and Righteousness: LBW #302, LSB #563

OR Here is Bread: ELW #483

Closing Hymn: Lord Jesus, Think on Me: LBW #309, ELW #599; LSB #610

     OR The Glory of These Forty Days: WOV #657, ELW #320 (tune is “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word”; words attr. to Luther, very nice)



March 6, 2022: 1st Sunday in Lent


Deuteronomy 26:1-11 (creedal confession when giving first fruit)

 Psalm 91:1-13(God will shield his Righteous One; angels will bear him up)

Romans 10:8b-13 (all who believe and confess that Jesus is Lord shall be saved)

Luke 4:1-13 (Jesus tempted by Satan)



Opening Hymn: I Want Jesus to Walk with Me: WOV #660, ELW #325

OR Once He Came in Blessing: LBW #312, LSB #333

 Hymn of the Day: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: LBW #229, ELW #504, NOT 505; LSB #657

Communion Hymn #1: Jesus, Still Lead On: LBW #341, ELW #624

Jesus, Lead Thou On: LSB #718

 Communion Hymn #2: Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word:  LBW #230, ELW #517, LSB #655

 Closing Hymn:  O Christ, You Walked the Road: LSB #424

OR O Love, How Deep (especially v. 3): LBW #88, ELW #322; LSB 544




(Words: Rev. Cathy Ammlung, STS; Tune: King’s Weston, LBW #179, “At the Name of Jesus”)


Through the time of testing lead us, Lord, we pray.

Forge a holy people on that desert way.

Strip us from our idols, mortify our pride.

Cleave us and conform us to the Crucified.


And your mind, Christ Jesus, in our midst bestow,

We your love to offer, we your grace to show,

We your service render to your people here:

Murm’ring and rebellious, yet you count them dear.


With your Breath revive us in the wilderness.

Grant us joy, obedience, and your holiness.

Jesus’ new commandment on our hearts engrave.

Your covenant remember; and your people save!



March 13, 2022: 2nd Sunday in Lent


Jeremiah 26:8-15 (Jeremiah prophesies against Zion, is marked for death; urges repentance)

            ELW/RCL: Genesis 15:1-12, (13-16), 17-18 (God “cuts a covenant” with Abram)

 Psalm 4 (The Lord sets apart his faithful; ponder, pray, offer sacrifice, be patient)

            RCL: Psalm 27 (The Lord is my light and salvation; I desire to see the beauty of God)

 Philippians 3:17-4:1 (follow example of those who are in Christ; our citizenship is in heaven; stand firm in Christ who transforms us from humiliation to his glory)

 Luke 13:31-35 (Jesus, must die in Jerusalem; longs to gather its people beneath his wings)




Opening Hymn: How Firm a Foundation, O Saints of the Lord: LBW #507, ELW #796, LSB #728

OR Christ, Mighty Savior, v. 1, 4, 5 (lovely paraphrase of Psalm 4. Omit “evening” verses for a.m.  service! I suggest the alternate tune, “Father Most Holy.”): WOV #729, ELW #560, LSB #881

 Hymn of the Day: Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart: LBW #325, ELW #750, LSB #708

          OR Jerusalem, My Happy Home: LBW #331, ELW #628, LSB #673

 Communion Hymn #1: Thy Holy Wings: WOV #741, ELW #613

 Communion Hymn #2: Children of the Heavenly Father: LBW #474, ELW #781

 Closing Hymn: O Christ Our Light, Our Radiance True: LBW #380, ELW #675

OR Jesus, the Very Thought of You: LBW #316, ELW #754




March 20, 2022: 3rd Sunday in Lent


Ezekiel 33:7-20 (you are a sentinel warning people to repent; if the evil repent, they live;  If the righteous sin, they die; if you don’t warn, their blood is on you)

      ELW/RCL: Isaiah 55:1-9: (Listen to God, eat what is good; he makes everlasting covenant; seek him while he may be found; his Word returns fruitfully to him)

 Psalm 85 (Restore us; show us your steadfast love; save us from our sin)

      ELW/RCL: Psalm 63:1-8 (My soul hungers, thirsts for you; you helped me; I sing for joy)

 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 (avoid sin; don’t test Christ; God provides escape when you are tested)


Luke 13:1-9 (tower didn’t fall because the people were worse sinners than you; but if you  do not repent, worse will happen to you. Parable of unfruitful fig tree)




Opening Hymn: “As Surely As I Live,” God Said: LSB #614 (can sing to “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast”)

     OR Once He Came in Blessing: LBW 312, LSB #333

      OR Great is Thy Faithfulness: WOV 771, ELW #733, LSB #809

 Hymn of the Day: Jesus Sinners Will Receive: LBW #291 (sing to “Holy God, We Praise Your Name”)

     OR Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: ELW #335

 Communion Hymn #1:  Today Your Mercy Calls Us: LBW #304, LSB #915

 Communion Hymn #2:  Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer: LBW #343, ELW #618, LSB #918

 Closing Hymn: Jesus, Still Lead On: LBW #341, ELW #624; Jesus, Lead Thou On: LSB #718



March 27, 2022: 4th Sunday in Lent


Isaiah 12:1-6 (With joy you will draw from waters of salvation and praise the Lord)

      RCL: Joshua 5:9-12 (After circumcision, Israelites keep first Passover in Promised Land)

 Psalm 32 (happy are they whose transgression is forgiven; accept his instruction and live)

 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (God has given us the ministry of reconciliation in Christ)

 Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 (Parable of the Prodigal Son)




Opening Hymn: Evening and Morning: LBW #465, ELW #761, LSB #726

 Hymn of the Day: Our Father, We Have Wandered: WOV #733, ELW #606

OR As Rebels, Lord, Who Foolishly Have Wandered: LSB #612 (I don’t know the tune, but it looks easy, and the words are a wonderful meditation on the parable. Try it!)

 Communion Hymn #1: Amazing Grace: LBW #448, ELW #779, LSB #744

 Communion Hymn #2: Soul Adorn Yourself with Gladness: LBW #224, ELW #488 (Bach chorale),  ELW #489 (Hispanic melody; Spanish words available)

 Closing Hymn: All Depends on Our Possessing: LBW #447, ELW #589, LSB #732

OR What Wondrous Love Is This: LBW #385, ELW #666, LSB #543



April 3, 2022: 5th Sunday in Lent

Isaiah 43:16-21(God announces his new work; the wilderness shall be a place of refreshment)

 Psalm 126 (God restored fortunes of Zion; those who sowed with weeping shall harvest with joy)

 Philippians 3:4b-14 (All is rubbish, compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ my God)

 Luke 20:9-20 (Parable of the wicked tenants of the vineyard)

           ELW/RCL: John 12:1-8 (Mary, Lazarus’s sister, anoints Jesus with oil)




Opening Hymn: The Church’s One Foundation: LBW #369, ELW #654

 Hymn of the Day:  When I Survey the Wondrous Cross: LBW #482, ELW #803, LSB #435, 426

 Communion Hymn #1: In the Cross of Christ I Glory: LBW #104, ELW #324, LSB #427

 Communion Hymn #2: One There Is, Above All Others: LBW #298

     OR O Savior, Precious Savior: LBW #514, ELW #820, LSB #527

 Closing Hymn: My Hope is Built on Nothing Less: LBW #294, ELW #596, 597; LSB #575, 576




April 10, 2022: Palm/Passion Sunday


Processional Gospel: John 12:12-19 (Triumphal entry into Jerusalem)

             ELW/RCL: Luke 19:28-40 (Triumphal entry into Jerusalem)

 Deuteronomy 32:36-39 (There is no god apart from Me who can save you)

            ELW/RCL: Isaiah 50: 4-9a (The Lord opens my ear. Who will contend with me?)

 Psalm 31:9-16 (Psalm of deep lament and distress – and trust in God)

 Philippians 2:5-11 (Christ humbled himself, become obedient unto death, even death on a Cross)

 Luke 22:39-23:56 (from Gethsemane to Golgotha; Passion narrative)




Opening Hymn: All Glory, Laud and Honor: LBW #108, ELW #344, LSB #442

OR Hosanna, Loud Hosanna: LSB #443 (Great also at beginning or end of a children’s sermon!)

 Hymn Prior to Reading of Passion: Jesus, I Will Ponder Now: LBW #115, ELW #345, LSB #440

 Hymn of the Day: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded: LBW #117, ELW #351, LSB #449

 Communion Hymn #1: There Is A Green Hill Far Away: LBW #114

     OR Now Behold the Lamb: ELW #341

 Communion Hymn #2: Jesus, Remember Me: WOV #740, ELW #616, LSB #767

 Closing Hymn: Ride On, Ride On in Majesty: LBW #121, ELW #346, LSB #441

OR No Tramp of Soldiers’ Marching Feet: LSB #444 (familiar English folk tune, powerful words)



Thursday, April 14, 2022: Maundy Thursday


Jeremiah 31:31-34 (new covenant; God writes his law upon the heart)

             ELW/RCL: Exodus 12:1-14 (The Passover)

 Psalm 116:12-19 (I will take up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord;  precious in his sight is the death of his faithful servant)

 Hebrews 10:15-25 (we have confidence through blood of Jesus to enter God’s holy sanctuary)

             ELW/RCL: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (Holy Communion; words of institution)

 Luke 22:7-20 (the Last Supper)




Opening/Foot-washing Hymn: Where Charity and Love Prevail:  LBW #126, ELW #359, LSB #845

OR Jesus, Greatest at the Table: LSB #446

 Hymn of the Day: Great God, Your Love Has Called Us: WOV #666, ELW #358

            OR Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior: LBW #199, LSB #640

Thee We Adore, O Savior, God Most True: ELW #476

 Communion Hymn #1: Go to Dark Gethsemane: LBW #109, ELW #347, LSB #436

 Communion Hymn #2: Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord: LBW #226

OR Soul Adorn Yourself with Gladness: LBW #224, ELW #488, LSB #636

 Closing Hymn: If the altar is stripped, chant Psalm 22

OR In the Hour of Trial: LBW #106





Friday, April 15, 2022: Good Friday


Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (the Suffering Servant, by whose wounds we are healed)

 Psalm 22 (My God, My God, why have you forsaken me….)

 Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 (we have a great High Priest, tested as we are in all things yet without sin; by his perfect obedience and suffering, we receive salvation)

 John 18:1-19:42 (the Passion)


Hymn of the Day: There in God’s Garden: WOV #668, ELW #342

OR Lamb of God, Pure and Sinless: LBW #111, ELW #357

 Other hymns: Ah, Holy Jesus: LBW #123, (ELW #349)

Were You There: LBW #92, ELW #353, LSB #456

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross: LBW #492, ELW #803, LSB #425/426


As a bonus, here’s my Tenebrae service. Modify as needed.


Good Friday Tenebrae Service


Prayer of the Day:

Almighty Father, we ask you to look with mercy on your family, for whom your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, was willing to be betrayed and to be given over to the hands of sinners and to suffer death on the cross; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.


The first section: Jesus is arrested

Psalm 25


To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame;

do not let my enemies exult over me.

Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;

let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;

for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,

for they have been from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;

according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore, he instructs sinners in the way.

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,

for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.

Who are they that fear the Lord?

He will teach them the way that they should choose.

They will abide in prosperity,

and their children shall possess the land.

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,

and he makes his covenant known to them.

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress.

Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.

O guard my life, and deliver me; do not let me be put to shame,

for I take refuge in you.

May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles.


Hymn: WOV #667, Stay here and Watch With Me (sung 3x)


Stay here and keep watch with me. The hour has come.

Stay here and keep watch with me. Watch and pray.



John 18:1-14


After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?” So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.




Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


A brief silence


Forgive and save your Church, O God, for heeding anything that distracts it from knowing, proclaiming, and sharing the love of Jesus, its crucified and risen Redeemer.


            Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


Forgive and renew pastors, bishops, theologians, and other church leaders when by treacherous words and shameful deeds they crucify Christ anew, and turn people from his salvation.


            Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


The first candle is extinguished




The second section: Peter denies Jesus

Psalm 54


Save me, O God, by your name, and vindicate me by your might.

Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.

For the insolent have risen against me, the ruthless seek my life;

they do not set God before them.

But surely, God is my helper;

the Lord is the upholder of my life.

He will repay my enemies for their evil.

In your faithfulness, put an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;

I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.

For he has delivered me from every trouble,

and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.



Hymn: WOV #668, v.1: There in God’s Garden


There in God’s garden stands the Tree of Wisdom,

Whose leaves hold forth the healing of the nations.

Tree of all knowledge, Tree of all compassion, Tree of all beauty.


John 18:15-27


Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?”

He said, “I am not.” Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.”

When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?”

Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?”

He denied it and said, “I am not.”

One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?”

Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.





Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


A brief silence


Forgive and guide each of us, for the small and great ways in which we fail to love you with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and do not love one another as Jesus has loved us.


            Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


Forgive and challenge everyone who says they believe in you, but have more pressing obligations than worship, prayer, forgiveness, or service in your name.


            Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.



The second candle is extinguished



The third section: Jesus before Pilate


Psalm 2


Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and his anointed, saying,

“Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.

Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,

“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me,

“You are my son; today I have begotten you.

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron,

and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.

Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling

kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way;

for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him.


Hymn: WOV #668, v.2: There in God’s Garden


Its name is Jesus, name that says, “Our Savior!”

There on its branches see the scars of suffering;

See where the tendrils of our human selfhood feed on its lifeblood.


John 18:28-40


Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.”

The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.) Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?”

Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?”

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”

Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?”

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”

They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.




Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


A brief silence

Forgive and enlighten all who believe in other gods, or who have limited and distorted notions of who you are.


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


Forgive and rescue all who say they are “spiritual but not religious,” or who are fascinated by the occult or dark spiritual arts.


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


The third candle is extinguished




The fourth section: Jesus is sentenced to death


Isaiah 52: 13-15


See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.


Hymn: WOV #668, v.3: There in God’s Garden


Thorns not its own are tangled in its foliage;

Our greed has starved it, our despite has choked it.

Yet look! It lives! Its grief has not destroyed it nor fire consumed it.


John 19: 1-16


Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face.

Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.”

The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.” Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”

Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon.

He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?”

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.”

Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.




Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


A brief silence


Forgive and teach those who do not believe in you at all, especially those who persecute believers.


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


Forgive and bring to repentance our enemies, personal and communal. Forgive all who slander, lie, and spew hate, as did their spiritual ancestors toward your beloved Son.


            Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


Forgive and transform all who break promises, break laws, and break hearts, especially when we still struggle to forgive.


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


The fourth candle is extinguished



The fifth section: Jesus is crucified


Isaiah 53:1-6


Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted 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. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.




Hymn: WOV #668, v.4: There in God’s Garden


See how its branches reach to us in welcome;

Hear what the Voice says: “Come to me, ye weary!

Give me your sickness, give me all your sorrow, I will give blessing.”


John 19:17-25

So they took him out; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And that is what the soldiers did.




Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


A brief silence

Forgive and energize all who whine, complain, make excuses, and shift blame to others.


            Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


Forgive and reform everyone who seeks to divide, not build up; to sow suspicion, not trust; and who insists on their own way at any cost.


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.



The fifth candle is extinguished




The sixth section: Jesus dies


Psalm 69:16-21, 29-33


Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;

according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.

Do not hide your face from your servant, for I am in distress—

make haste to answer me.

Draw near to me, redeem me,

set me free because of my enemies.

You know the insults I receive, and my shame and dishonor;

my foes are all known to you.

Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair.

I looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

They gave me poison for food,

and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

But I am lowly and in pain;

let your salvation, O God, protect me.

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.

Let the oppressed see it and be glad;

you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

For the Lord hears the needy,

and does not despise his own that are in bonds.


Hymn: WOV #668, v.5: There in God’s Garden


This is my ending, this my resurrection;

Into your hands, Lord, I commit my spirit.

This have I searched for; now can I possess it. This ground is holy.


John 19:26-30


Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 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. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.





Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


A brief silence

Forgive and liberate those who are enslaved by their desires, passions, fears, addictions, or by their attraction to evil for its own sake.


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


Forgive and heal all who are caught in snares of illness and pain, depression and anxiety, regret and shame.


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


Forgive, save, transform, and redeem all of us – for if we are honest, we know we must number ourselves in the great and miserable fellowship of sinners. Forgive, dear Lord, forgive us who despair; who seek revenge; who are cruel and selfish; who are bored and apathetic; who are thoughtless, clueless, heedless, merciless, and faithless.


Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


The sixth candle is extinguished




The seventh section: Jesus is buried


Isaiah 53:7-12


He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth.

By a perversion of justice he was taken away.

Who could have imagined his future?

For he was cut off from the land of the living,

stricken for the transgression of my people.

They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich,

although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.

When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring,

and shall prolong his days;

through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.

Out of his anguish he shall see light;

he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.

The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,

and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;

because he poured out himself to death,

and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many,

and made intercession for the transgressors.


Hymn: WOV #668, v.6: There in God’s Garden


All heav’n is singing, “Thanks to Christ whose Passion

Offers in mercy healing, strength, and pardon.

Peoples and nations, take it, take it freely!” Amen! My Master!



John 19:31-40


Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.

But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.




Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy and hear our prayer.


A brief silence


By the suffering and passion, of your holy and beloved Son; by his prayers from the Cross for our sake; by his sinless death and his descent into the depths of hell for the sake of sinners; by his glorious resurrection and ascension, and by his promise to come again as victorious Lord of all, forgive us our sins, heavenly Father. Crucify our sins and burn them in hell; but hide us, your poor sinful creatures, in the life-giving wounds of Jesus, and shelter us in his outstretched arms. Anoint us with the same Spirit he committed to you with his dying breath. Raise us, in the power of that Spirit, to share in the glorious resurrection life of Christ. And speed the coming of that great eternal day when everyone whom you have forgiven and healed, transformed and redeemed, is made fit to stand together before your throne, there to praise and adore you in the unity you share with your Son, our Savior and Lord, and with the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


The seventh candle is removed but not extinguished.




The closing


The single lighted candle is returned. All rise and recite the Apostles’ Creed and Lord’s Prayer.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.


I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.


I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Our Father, who art in heaven…..


The people leave in silence.