The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart…

…The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

—T.S. Eliot, from “East Coker,”
Pt. IV, in The Four Quartets


The Maker of man was made man, that the Ruler of the stars might suck at the breast; that the Bread might be hungered; the Fountain, thirst; the Light, sleep; the Way, be wearied by the journey; the Truth, be accused by false witnesses; the Judge of the living and the dead, be judged by a mortal judge; the Chastener, be chastised with whips; the Vine, be crowned with thorns; the Foundation, be hung upon the tree; Strength, be made weak; Health, be wounded; Life, die. To suffer these and suchlike things, undeserved things, that He might free the undeserving, for neither did He deserve any evil, who for our sakes endured so many evils, nor were we deserving of anything good, we who through Him received such good.

—St. Augustine of Hippo,
from The Confessions


 March 30, 2018
Good Friday
Center City Campus  



Leader:    The Lord be with you.  

People:     And also with you!


Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you; 

People: by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world. 

Leader: God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 

People: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. 

Leader: We preach Christ crucified, the power of God and the wisdom of God. 

People: By your holy cross, you have redeemed the world. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: we adore you, O Christ, and we bless you; by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world. 


—from 1 Corinthians 1 & Galatians 6





Stricken smitten and afflicted
See him dying on the tree
’Tis the Christ by man rejected
Yes my soul ’tis He ’tis He
’Tis the long expected Prophet
David’s Son yet David’s Lord
Proofs I see sufficient of it
’Tis the true and faithful Word

Tell me ye who hear Him groaning
Was there ever grief like His
Friends through fear his cause disowning
Foes insulting His distress
Many hands were raised to wound Him
None would interpose to save
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
Was the stroke that justice gave

Ye who think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly
Here its guilt may estimate
Mark the sacrifice appointed
See who bears the awful load
’Tis the Word the Lord’s Anointed
Son of man and Son of God 


© Public Domain CCLI Song # 3776010 -- CCLI License # 3040322


Matthew 26:36-68, NRSV

    Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
    While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.


Leader: This is the gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!



“Man of Sorrows” what a name
For the Son of God, Who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim
Hallelujah what a Savior

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with his blood
Hallelujah what a Savior

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He
Full atonement can it be
Hallelujah what a Savior

Lifted up was he to die,
“It is finished” was His cry
Now in heaven exalted high
Hallelujah what a Savior

When he comes our glorious King
All His ransomed home to bring
Then anew this song we’ll sing
Hallelujah what a Savior


Matthew 27:1-26, NRSV

    When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
    When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
    Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
    Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”


    So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Leader: This is the gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ! 



All flesh is like the grass
The grass withers and fades away
All flesh is like the grass
The grass withers and fades away
The glory of man, like a flower
That shrivels in the sun and falls
The glory of man, like a flower
That shrivels in the sun and falls
But the Word of the Lord
Endures forever
The Word of the Lord
Endures forever


Fernando Ortega


Matthew 27:27-61, NRSV

    Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
    As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
    Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
    From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn


    in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
    Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
    When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. 

Leader: This is the gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!



Speaker: Meade Baker

Title: The Beginning and the End



“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Leader:     Loving Father, to whom your crucified Son prayed for the forgiveness of those who did not know what they were doing, grant that we too may be included in that prayer. Whether we sin out of ignorance or intention, be merciful to us and grant us your acceptance and peace in the name of Jesus Christ, our suffering Savior. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. 

“Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Leader:     O Lord Jesus Christ, who promised to the repentant the joy of paradise, enable us by the Holy Spirit to repent  and to receive your grace in this world  and in the world to come. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

“Woman, behold your son...Behold your mother.”

Leader:    O blessed Savior, in your hour of greatest suffering you expressed compassion for your        mother and made arrangements for her care; grant that we who seek to follow your example
may show our concern for the needs of others,
 reaching out to provide for those who suffer in our human family. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.



“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

Leader:     O Lord, as one who was once forsaken by all others, even your own Father, grant that we would approach your throne of grace with in our time of need.

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. 

“I thirst.”

Leader:     O blessed Savior, whose lips were dry and whose throat was parched, grant us the water of life, that we who thirst after righteousness may find it quenched by your love and mercy,
leading us to bring this same relief to others.

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.


“It is finished.”

Leader:     O Lord Jesus Christ, you finished the work that you were sent to do; enable us by your Holy Spirit to be faithful to our call. Grant us strength to bear our crosses and endure our sufferings, even unto death. Enable us to live and love so faithfully  that we also become good news to the world,  joining your witness, O Christ, in whose name we pray. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Leader:     Father, into whose hands your Son, Jesus Christ, commended his spirit, grant that we too, following his example, may in all of life and at the moment of our death entrust our lives into your faithful hands of love. In the name of Jesus, who gave his life for us all. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.

 — Based on Psalm 88; Mark 15:34;
Luke 23:34, 43, 46; John 19:26-30


And darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. The earth shook and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.



Minister:     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.

People:     Amen.  



In order to respect those that want to remain to pray and meditate, please remain silent as you leave.