Good Friday Online Service

What you will need

-A Bible
-Notebook and pen for journaling
-Communion elements (bread and wine/juice)
-Seven candles (optional)


This Good Friday service is a “tenebrae” service.

The word "tenebrae" comes from the Latin meaning "darkness." The Tenebrae is an ancient Christian Good Friday service that guides us through the final hours of Jesus’ life through readings from the Gospels.

Below you will find the seven readings. If you have seven candles, light them now. After each reading, you will extinguish one of the candles. As candles are snuffed out, the light in the room diminishes, symbolizing the increasing darkness as we approach Jesus’ death.

Before the last Scripture reading, the final candle, the Christ candle, will not be extinguished but hidden…to symbolize the coming resurrection on Easter Sunday. But for now, we  sit in the darkness of Good Friday and the hopelessness in the world without Jesus.

After the seventh and final reading, the reader will slam shut the Bible, making a loud noise. This symbolizes the earthquake that happened at Jesus’ death.

As you make your way through this liturgy, give yourself space to pray and reflect.

Opening prayer

LEADER: The light has come into the world,
and the world loved darkness rather than light.
God sent the Son into the world,
not to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Lift up your hearts.

ALL: We lift them unto the Lord.


Candle 1: The Shadow of Agony

Song of Confession

Candle 2: The Shadow of Denial

Candle 3: The Shadow of Accusation

Candle 4: The Shadow of Condemnation

Candle 5: The Shadow of Humiliation

Candle 6: The Shadow of Death

Read Matthew 27:45-54
Extinguish 6th candle
Hide Christ candle

Space for Prayer/Reflection

Take some time to pray. Consider writing your own lament in the form of Psalm 22. Using Psalm 22 as an example, consider using the structure below to write your own lament to God, naming your own grief or the pain you see in the world and bringing them to Him in the presence of His love.

-Cry out to God: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
-Express your complaint and name your anger, pain, heartache: “Why are you so far from saving me?”
-Name your Request: “Lord, do not be far, come quickly to help me.”
-Give voice to your trust and remembrance of God’s faithfulness in the past: “Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One, you brought me out of the womb… in the assembly I will praise you”

Receive Communion

Communion Reflections
As we lament the pain and evil in our world and in our lives, we also lament that humanity is so evil that we killed God in the flesh. Jesus was executed by the state for being a threat to the Empire and the religious establishment.

In dying on the cross, in having his body broken and blood shed, Jesus took the worst blow sin could muster. Then he turned his cheek and he forgave. And in doing so, He showed the world that the power of God’s forgiveness and the power of His self-giving love are greater than the evil powers of this world. Colossians 2:15 says, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, [Jesus] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

We are right to lament the evil all around us, but the cross gives us hope that evil and darkness do not have the last laugh. One day, Jesus will return and fully cast all the darkness out of our world.

Communion Song

Candle 7: The Shadow of Burial

Read Matthew 27:57-60
Strepitus (loud noise by slamming the Bible shut)


Darkness Falls
Darkness falls, the curtain tears
It is finished.
What is to become of the Light of the World?
Into your hands we place our lives
we wait
we hope
we wait

we wait, we hope, we wait
we wait, we hope, we wait

What is to become of the Light of the World?
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