GOOD FRIDAY // 7pm
Sundays @ 8:00am & 9:15am* Starting April 11th *Godly Play offered. Scroll down for details and registration
This Friday at 7pm we will have our traditional Good Friday Service centering around Jesus' Seven Last Words. We arrive to darkness and only the light of seven candles, and journey through Scripture, music, and art until the final candle is blown out. We depart from the church in silence. If you have not been able to make a reservation in time (service is full), here's a PDF of the liturgy for the service so you can do it at home.
We would recommend a darkened room with seven candles, and extinguishing each candle after the seven Scriptures are read, and then perhaps ending your evening in silence. One unique tradition in our church is what we call the Stripping of the Branches. After the seventh word is read, we meditate on what we pray that the Lord would prune from our lives this coming year. We move forward to the front where there is a dead Christmas Tree, and each of us cuts off a branch from the tree until the entire tree is stripped. Then the trunk is cut and turned into a cross - awaiting new life on Easter morning. This in itself is symbolic, but it is rooted in an even greater symbolism. All too often, Christ's death on the cross is reduced to the imputation of Christ's holiness and righteousness - as if the whole of the atonement is simply a legal transaction. This reduction of the atonement most often occurs when we separate redemption from its matrix in the Incarnation, making it a transaction of forgiveness rather than Paul's vision of the new creation. It is certainly true that forgiveness has its final expression on the cross, but this leaves out Paul's vision for God's restoration of humanity and all of creation. By connecting redemption to the incarnation - and Christ's restoration of our humanity - we ensure that the Easter message comes to us in all its fullness. And so, we take a symbol of the incarnation (the Christmas tree) and turn it into the cross, on which our humanity was crucified and restored in the truly human one. Hallelujah! You may still have your Christmas tree on your burn pile in your back garden. If this is the case, it isn't too late to have your own DIY service (!) connecting the incarnation with redemption - and asking the Lord himself to prune whatever is necessary from your life. Julie