8StationsofCrossGood Friday Tenebrae Worship Service: The Eight Stations of The Cross Recorded in Scripture Intersecting with Justice in our Community and World, April 15, 2022 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Richardson, Texas

(I coul not get the art images to load for each station--only the first one--but I listed them so you can look them up or find something similar. Because we have several elderly, this was a sitting rather than moving service; the art printed in the bulletin provided the visual station in addition to the justice issues and resources lifted up for each station. It was modeled after an Episcopalian service we found that was created about ten years ago.)

INTRODUCTION

As begin our Good Friday Worship, consider the world God sent his Son to save. Reflect that in our world today:

 19 million children face extreme hunger
 82.4 million people are displaced from their homes
 More than 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty; approximately 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day.
 6.16 million people have died globally from COVID-19; even so tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria remain far greater health priorities for many parts of Africa
 663 million people worldwide live without access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, or educational services
 Violent and debilitating conflict rages or continues to have devastating effects in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Myanmar, El Salvador and other places.

In Jesus’ first public sermon, in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4, he described his vocation by quoting Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Is not Jesus’ vocation also the vocation of the Church? How are we as believers called to live into that vocation? At Baptism, and whenever we renew our Baptismal vows, we promise to strive for justice and peace in all the earth. Sharing this witness with the leaders of our governments and communities is one way in which Christians live out the vocation that Isaiah and Jesus commended to us.

We will learn how get involved globally or locally throughout this worship service. Our prayers implicate us in some kind of action, even if it is one small effort from our home in writing letters, wrapping up a health kit, or donating food.

OPENING PRAYERS

In the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

THE LORD’S PRAYER
Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray together:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

We will glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom is our salvation, our life, and resurrection.

Let us pray.
Mercifully assist us, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may remember with joy the mighty acts whereby you have given us life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

ChristbeforePilate Station1FIRST STATION: JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

Art: Christ before Pilate
Tintoretto, 1566-67; Oil on Panel


The First Station commemorates Jesus being sentenced to death before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. At this station we meditate upon all those throughout God’s creation who are sentenced to die each day because of extreme poverty. The many facets of extreme poverty include income poverty, hunger, conflict, disease, environmental degradation, a lack of basic human rights, and structural barriers to justice such as crushing debt burdens throughout the developing world. These annual debt-service payments to wealthy international creditors hinder poor nations’ ability to spend on the health, education and the well-being of their people. The world's poorest countries pay more money each year in debt than they receive in official aid. The Caribbean island of Jamaica spends more money on debt than on health and education combined. To learn more – and find out what you and your faith community can do – visit Jubilee USA (www.jubileeusa.org). Locally, poor people are incarcerated at an alarming rate because of an inability to pay bail and court fees. Faith in Texas is working to end mass incarceration; you can find more information by clicking Live Free at faithintx.org.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate spoke to the crowd: “What do you wish me to do with the man you call the king of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” So, after flogging Jesus, Pilate handed him over to be crucified.

God did not spare his own Son,
but delivered him up for us all.

HYMN: Precious Lord, Take My Hand ELW #773 

Let us pray.
Almighty God, your Son our Savior suffered at the hands of sinners and endured the shame of the cross. Grant that we may walk in the way of his cross and find it the way of life and peace; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy and hear us.

The first candle is extinguished.

SECOND STATION: JESUS TAKES UP HIS CROSS

Art: Christ Carrying the Cross
Benvenuto di Giovanni, 1491; Oil on Panel


Jesus, who willingly took up the Cross for humanity’s sake, also commanded us to take up our own crosses and follow him. Taking up our own crosses and giving ourselves in self-sacrificial love to help bear the burden of others is the model of vocation that God gave us in his Son. In a world where so many starve for daily bread, this vocation of sacrifice can be seen as amplifying the ancient imperative of God spoken through Isaiah, chapter 58: “If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, your light shall rise in the darkness. You shall be called repairer of the breach, restorer of streets to live in.” As you meditate upon the Second Station, consider the starving of the world, and the vast gap between the hungry and those who have plenty. To learn how you can participate and help make a difference, visit www.bread.org. or ELCA World Hunger at elca.org. Locally, visit The Network of Community Ministries at thenetwork.org. You can also connect with Unite the Church Dallas and their COPE poverty simulation at unitethechurch.org.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Carrying the cross by himself, Jesus went out to the place called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 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. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom and strength, and honor and glory and blessing.

The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all:
for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

HYMN: Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross ELW #335, vs. 1 & 4

Let us pray.
Almighty God, whose beloved Son willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross for our redemption: Give us courage to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns forever and ever.
Amen

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy and hear us.

The second candle is extinguished.

 THIRD STATION: THE CROSS IS LAID ON SIMON OF CYRENE

Art: The Way to Calvary
Duccio di Buortinsegna, 1308-11; Tempera on Wood Panel


The Gospel tells us that as the weight of Jesus’ cross grew, the Roman soldiers compelled a man named Simon to step in and carry the Cross for a time. As you meditate upon the Third Station, consider the various weights placed upon God’s children each day, and the fact that often, others have to help carry the load. For example, in much of the developing world, the fees for basic primary and secondary education are so great that families have to choose which child, if any, can attend school. Disproportionately, those who are short-changed are girls, who then stay at home and help their mothers in long days of crushing labor. These young children bear burdens in place of others in their family, often – like Simon of Cyrene – with very little choice. To learn more about how school fees and other barriers to education hurt the world’s children – and what can be done to change this reality – visit Global Action for Children, a nationwide coalition at globalactionforchildren.org. Texas ranks #40 out of all states for funding education and received an “F” mark spending $3,100 less on average per students. Locally connect with Pastors for Texas Children which is working to increase funding for education across the state, at pastorsfortexaschildren.com.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

As they led Jesus away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me
cannot be my disciple.

HYMN: Lead Me, Guide Me ELW #768, vs. 1 & 3

Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: Bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in his name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.
Amen

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy and hear us.

The third candle is extinguished.

 FOURTH STATION: JESUS MEETS THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM

Art: Wall Carving at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish
Pittsburgh, PA


Jesus, as continues to bear the weight of the cross, stops to speak to the women of Jerusalem, the ones who so often bear the burdens of wisdom and well-being for their families and communities. Education, civic empowerment, and access to health services for women affect not just women themselves, but also their families and communities. Among the most critical health services for women in the developing world is family planning, which gives women and their families the ability to plan and space births, thereby promoting maternal health, reducing child mortality, and allowing for a family’s economic survival. Each year, approximately 295,000 women die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth, the majority in developing countries. It is also estimated that approximately one-third of maternal deaths could be prevented annually if women who did not wish to become pregnant had access to and used effective contraception. Additionally, maternal mortality rates in the US are the highest in the Western Hemisphere, and are four times higher for African American women than whites. Learn more at USAID.gov by looking under Global Health and Family Planning. Find out about the ELCA’s International Women Leaders program, and Justice for Women work at elca.org. You can promote economic and leadership for women and girls locally through the Texas Women’s Foundation at txwf.org.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

A great number of the people followed Jesus, and among them were women who were wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

Those who sowed with tears
will reap with songs of joy.

HYMN: I Want Jesus to Walk with Me ELW #325 

Let us pray.
Teach your church, O Lord, to mourn the sins of which it is guilty, and to repent and forsake them; that, by your pardoning grace, the results of our iniquities may not be visited upon our children and our children’s children; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy and hear us.

The fourth candle is extinguished.

 FIFTH STATION: JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

Art: This Disrobing of Christ
El Greco, c. 1600; Oil on Canvas


In a final act of humiliation before being lifted up on the cross, the Roman soldiers strip Jesus of his garments and divide them amongst themselves. As you meditate upon Christ’s humiliation, consider the many acts of humiliation endured daily by God’s people who live in poverty. Among the greatest humiliations is the inability to provide for one’s self, family, and community as a result of unfair international barriers to trade. Like debt relief and development aid, fair-trade policy is an essential pillar of global trade. Whereas debt relief and development aid are, by nature, intermediary steps to lift certain structural barriers from impoverished people, fair trade is a lasting measure to allow disempowered people to build a better future for themselves. To learn more about what makes trade fair, and how you can get involved, visit U.S. Fairtrade.net. Read about prosperity wages at tenbythree.org, and begin to make some of your own purchases from fair trade vendors for items like coffee from LWR.org, or buy chocolate, coffee and other products from shop.equalexchange.coop. Visit the Richardson Farmer’s Market at Coit and Belt Line on Saturdays (10-2) to support local vendors.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

When they came to a place called Golgotha, they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. The soldiers divided his garments among them by casting lots. This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

They gave me gall to eat,
and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.

HYMN: Beneath the Cross of Jesus RED #338, vs. 1-2

Let us pray.
O God, your Son chose the path which led to pain before joy and the cross before glory. Plant his cross in our hearts, so that in its power and love we may come at last to joy and glory; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy and hear us.

The fifth candle is extinguished.

 SIXTH STATION: JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

Art: The Crucifixion
Peter Paul Rubens, 1620-21; Oil on Canvas


“And I, when I am lifted up from the cross, will draw all people to myself.” To Christians, these words of Jesus from the Gospel of John speak of the power of the cross to contain and enfold all the horror, pain and grief of the world in God’s uncompromising and enduring embrace of love. The cross is not merely our redemption, but also our reconciliation and restoration to God and to one another in Christ. As you meditate upon the Crucifixion at the sixth station, consider how we are called to the ministry of reconciliation in our own lives. Consider how all of the problems which afflict humanity – poverty, conflict, disease, injustice, racism – might be combated by building partnerships of reconciliation between nations and peoples. Humanity is fundamentally interconnected; we are, as St. Paul tells us, all limbs and members of the same body. Thus, when one part of the body suffers we all suffer. To learn more about the principle of interconnectedness – and how partnerships of reconciliation can help bring healing to humanity read about Peace Not Walls at elca.org under Publicly Engaged Church. Locally, you can attend the Richardson Interfaith Alliance events on the 3rd Thursday of the month; connect with Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at dallastrht.org.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified Jesus; and with him they crucified two criminals, one on the right, and one on the left. He poured out himself to death, and yet he bore the sin of many.

They pierce my hands and my feet;
they stare and gloat over me.

HYMN: Were You There ELW #353 vs. 1-3

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace. So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your name.
Amen

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy and hear us.

The sixth candle is extinguished.

 SEVENTH STATION: JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

Art: The Crucifixion
Hans Mielich, c. 150/75
Oil on Canvas


“Through Christ,” St. Paul tells us, “God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things whether in heaven or on earth by making peace through the blood of the cross” (Col. 1:19-20). Despite God’s passionate desire for reconciliation and peace through the Blood of the Cross, humanity, in the first part of the 21st Century remains torn by conflict, strife, and war. Many nations have suffered including Sudan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and now Ukraine. Find ways to help and specific ways to pray by going to Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and Lutheran World Relief. Links can be found at elca.org or you can search these organizations directly. Our Women’s group (WELCA) continues to sew quilts, make health kits and school kits used in refugee camps. If you have extra resources, you can make a donation to help provide their supplies or join them in their efforts (write a check to WELCA and put “Kits” in the Memo Line).

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” And when Jesus had received the vinegar he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Christ for us became obedient unto death,
even death on a cross.

HYMN: They Crucified My Lord, He Never Said a Mumbalin’ Word ELW #350

Let us pray.
O God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, and by his glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, so that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection; who lives and reigns now and forever.
Amen

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy and hear us.

The seventh candle is extinguished.

EIGHTH STATION: JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB

Art: Deposition in the Sepulchre
Marten Van Heemskerk, Date Unknown; Oil on Canvas


At the end of the story of Good Friday, nothing but death remains. Humanity has brought God’s Son to the tomb, sealing him behind an immovable stone. But to God, through whom all things are possible, no barrier is immovable. Through the sacrifice and death of Christ, even death itself is no longer a barrier to life for the children of God. And thus, even at funerals, we proclaim with the Apostle Paul, “O death where is your victory, o death, where is your sting?” (1Cor 15:55). As you meditate upon Jesus in the tomb, consider that the Church – the Body of Christ in the world – is called by God to carry forward Christ’s reconciling sacrifice by helping bring life even in the midst of death. One way we do this is through fidelity to our Baptismal covenant, in which we promise to “strive for justice and peace in all the earth.” To get involved with ELCA’s ministry of public advocacy, visit church’s Office on Advocacy for resources, Action Items and to sign up for Advocacy Alerts: Go to elca.org, click on Our Work, Publicly Engaged Church, and then Advocacy.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
By your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

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.

You will not abandon me to the grave,
nor let your holy one see corruption.

HYMN: O Sacred Head Now Wounded ELW #351 vs. 1 & 3

Let us pray.
O God, your blessed Son was laid in a tomb in a garden, and rested on the Sabbath day. Grant that we who have been buried with him in the waters of baptism may find our perfect rest in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns forever and ever.
Amen.

Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,
have mercy and hear us.

The eighth candle is extinguished.

CONCLUSION
Savior of the world, by your cross and precious blood you have redeemed us.
Save us and help us, we humbly beseech you, O Lord.

Let us pray.
We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

The ninth candle is extinguished (added because we have a 9-candle candelabra--you can light the taper and carry out the light of Christ, and then come back in for a moment as a sign that the light will return on Easter).

To Christ our Lord who loves us, washed us in his own blood, and made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God and Creator, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.
Amen.

Please depart in silence and place your offering in the plate on the table in the entry way.