Good Friday Liturgy – 5 Stages of Grief

Here is our Good Friday Liturgy from 2012. Each section was read by a different member of our community including children from gr. 5 and up.

The Resurrection Sunday liturgy can be found here.

Before we start, remember, Sunday service starts at 6:45 at Canatara beach at the Bandshell. Bring toppings for Pancakes as we will come back here after to eat.

As for the children today, we are requesting that they are on their best behaviour. For those that can read, we would love it if they would follow along with the liturgy in your hands. For those that can colour, there is a children’s liturgy of colouring pages that they can colour. If things aren’t working well then we would just ask that you would bring them to the other room, where the Easter story is playing by Veggie Tales. We have no one specific to watch them today, so if necessary just make sure your own children are taken care of or partner with someone you see that doesn’t have a kid.

This morning we are gathering together to recognize the death of our Lord Jesus. It is a solemn occasion. It’s the kind of time where we come together to mourn. To help shape our service this morning we will be using the five stages of grief to guide us through the reality of what it means for Jesus to be put to death. What it means for God, what is means for us, and what it means for the world. The liturgy will be full of readings, scripture verses, video clips, silence and prayers. We printed it out for you to follow along so you can see back with what has been said and look forward. So follow along, let your mind wander, and allow yourself to be overtaken by what we are reading, saying and doing together. Let’s begin.

[Reading – Mark 15:1-39]
At dawn’s first light, the high priests, with the religious leaders and scholars, arranged a conference with the entire Jewish Council. After tying Jesus securely, they took him out and presented him to Pilate.
Pilate asked him, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”
He answered, “If you say so.” The high priests let loose a barrage of accusations.
Pilate asked again, “Aren’t you going to answer anything? That’s quite a list of accusations.” Still, he said nothing. Pilate was impressed, really impressed.
It was a custom at the Feast to release a prisoner, anyone the people asked for. There was one prisoner called Barabbas, locked up with the insurrectionists who had committed murder during the uprising against Rome. As the crowd came up and began to present its petition for him to release a prisoner, Pilate anticipated them: “Do you want me to release the King of the Jews to you?” Pilate knew by this time that it was through sheer spite that the high priests had turned Jesus over to him.
But the high priests by then had worked up the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas. Pilate came back, “So what do I do with this man you call King of the Jews?”
They yelled, “Nail him to a cross!”
Pilate objected, “But for what crime?”
But they yelled all the louder, “Nail him to a cross!”
Pilate gave the crowd what it wanted, set Barabbas free and turned Jesus over for whipping and crucifixion.
The soldiers took Jesus into the palace (called Praetorium) and called together the entire brigade. They dressed him up in purple and put a crown plaited from a thornbush on his head. Then they began their mockery: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” They banged on his head with a club, spit on him, and knelt down in mock worship. After they had had their fun, they took off the purple cape and put his own clothes back on him. Then they marched out to nail him to the cross.


We have gone another year and things are doing well.
We can still wake up, most of our loved ones are still alive.
We can make it to work, we can earn our money and buy our things.
We can save for our future, our retirement and our dreams.
We know what needs to be done, and we are motivated enough to do it.
We have a sense of our worth and our capacity to perform.
We are feeling fine.

We care about our children, and their futures and their success.
We get them into good schools and help them with their homework.
We get pregnant and eat the right foods, do the right exercises and take the right classes.
We enjoy our successes with small parties and quick vacations and nights out
We attend church gatherings downtown when we are up to it.
We read our bible when we can make time.
We say prayers with our kids before they go to sleep.
We are feeling fine.

We have got a handle on our brokenness.
We don’t lavish it around, we keep it private, almost hidden.
We have stopped from most ways of destruction – at least the obvious ones
We are smiling, we are successful and our futures are bright.
We are doing way better than most.
We are feeling fine.

As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.”

[Song: Chariot]
Swing, like a chariot
At the trumpet call
When we’re all unsaved,
Swing like a wrecking ball
Like the heart of god
What a mystery
Filled with the wedding feast
For the snakes and bees
With the angel teeth, swing
Come and carry us
Come and marry us
To the blushing circus king
And dance like elephants as he comes to us
Through a fiery golden ring

With a violin and a song to sing
As he brings for us our wings
Now he’s one of us
Plays the tambourine
Breaks the bread for us
And sings
Will you wait for us
Will you stay for us
Will you grace us everything
You’re a wrecking ball
With a heart of gold
People wait for it, swing
Like a chariot
Swing it low for us
Come and carry us away

So we will become a happy ending
So we will become a happy ending

Fire come and carry us
Make us shine or make us rust
Tell us that you care for us
We need to hear a word for us
Let your body stand with us
Or let our rags be turned to dust
Chariot you swing for us
We think that you can carry all of us

So we will become a happy ending
So we will become a happy ending
So we will become a happy ending
So we will become a happy ending


[Reading – John 18: 1-11]
Jesus, having prayed this prayer, left with his disciples and crossed over the brook Kidron at a place where there was a garden. He and his disciples entered it.
Judas, his betrayer, knew the place because Jesus and his disciples went there often. So Judas led the way to the garden, and the Roman soldiers and police sent by the high priests and Pharisees followed. They arrived there with lanterns and torches and swords. Jesus, knowing by now everything that was coming down on him, went out and met them. He said, “Who are you after?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
He said, “That’s me.” The soldiers recoiled, totally taken aback. Judas, his betrayer, stood out like a sore thumb.
Jesus asked again, “Who are you after?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
“I told you,” said Jesus, “that’s me. I’m the one. So if it’s me you’re after, let these others go.” (This validated the words in his prayer, “I didn’t lose one of those you gave.”)
Just then Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword, pulled it from its sheath and struck the Chief Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. Malchus was the servant’s name.
Jesus ordered Peter, “Put back your sword. Do you think for a minute I’m not going to drink this cup the Father gave me?”


This really is all your fault.
We were following you, remember? You ended up on the cross, not us.
You storm into the temple, flip tables, lip off the powerful ones, it was inevitable.
There was multiple attempts to try and disagree with you, but you were unconvinced.
Death, Beatings, Mocked – You had it coming.

Now you tell us to follow you into that kind of death?
Are you kidding me. No way. I don’t want to die. Remember what we just said?
We like our lives, things are fine, we are content, our children are happy.
We are successful, we have enough money and we are happy going after more.
Give it all away, look like those poor unmotivated people in the world?
No thanks. I’d rather stick to your words about responsibility and your blessings.

No wonder Peter grabbed his sword out, he was just worried about his own skin.
No wonder he denied you, he doesn’t want the same fate as you.
We are in the same boat, and it’s upsetting that you would even ask us to do the same.
We don’t want to join, because you lost, you died and we don’t want to lose.
This direction isn’t good for us, it’s going to turn our children into outright losers.
So no, we won’t follow you there, it’s too upsetting.
We aren’t choosing failure.

[Response – Song – What is not to love]
What looks like failure is success
And what looks like poverty is riches
When what is true looks more like a knife
It looks like you’re killing me
But you’re saving my life

But I give myself to what looks like love
And I sell myself for what feels like love
And I pay to get what is not love
And all just because I see things upside down

What looks like weakness can do anything
And what looks like foolishness is understanding
When what is powerful has not come to fight
It looks like you’re going to war
But you lay down your life

What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
And I say I don’t know you
But you say it’s finished
When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
And I say I don’t know you
But you say it’s finished


Here’s an idea.
How about instead of all this death stuff, we live good lives.
We will show up to church, have bible studies and pray daily.
We will give 11% to the church, stop swearing and won’t drink much
We won’t be ashamed of your gospel, we will tell people at the right times
We will raise our kids in Sunday school and be nice to the smelly kids
We will follow the Bible as our moral codebook, guiding our paths straight
We will work on being loving, graceful and forgiving

We just want to live by the basic rules.
We reap what we sow right?
So we’ll just sew some good seed.
We’ll clean up all the bad things that we do, so bad things won’t happen to us.
We’ll keep our end of the bargain, if you keep yours.

[Reading – A Good Man is Hard To Find]

Alone with The Misfit, the grandmother found that she had lost her voice. There was not a cloud in the sky nor any sun. There was nothing around her but woods. She wanted to tell him that he must pray. She opened and closed her mouth several times before anything came out. Finally she found herself saying, “Jesus. Jesus,” meaning, Jesus will help you, but the way she was saying it, it sounded as if she might be cursing.
“Yes’m, The Misfit said as if he agreed. “Jesus shown everything off balance. It was the same case with Him as with me except He hadn’t committed any crime and they could prove I had committed one because they had the papers on me. Of course,” he said, “they never shown me my papers. That’s why I sign myself now. I said long ago, you get you a signature and sign everything you do and keep a copy of it. Then you’ll know what you done and you can hold up the crime to the punishment and see do they match and in the end you’ll have something to prove you ain’t been treated right. I call myself The Misfit,” he said, “because I can’t make what all I done wrong fit what all I gone through in punishment.”
There was a piercing scream from the woods, followed closely by a pistol report. “Does it seem right to you, lady, that one is punished a heap and another ain’t punished at all?”
“Jesus!” the old lady cried. “You’ve got good blood! I know you wouldn’t shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray! Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady. I’ll give you all the money I’ve got!”
“Lady,” The Misfit said, looking beyond her far into the woods, “there never was a body that give the undertaker a tip.”
There were two more pistol reports and the grandmother raised her head like a parched old turkey hen crying for water and called, “Bailey Boy, Bailey Boy!” as if her heart would break.
“Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead,” The Misfit continued, “and He shouldn’t have done it. He shown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness,” he said and his voice had become almost a snarl.
“Maybe He didn’t raise the dead,” the old lady mumbled, not knowing what she was saying and feeling so dizzy that she sank down in the ditch with her legs twisted under her.
“I wasn’t there so I can’t say He didn’t,” The Misfit said. “I wisht I had of been there,” he said, hitting the ground with his fist. “It ain’t right I wasn’t there because if I had of been there I would of known. Listen lady,” he said in a high voice, “if I had of been there I would of known and I wouldn’t be like I am now.” His voice seemed about to crack and the grandmother’s head cleared for an instant. She saw the man’s face twisted close to her own as if he were going to cry and she murmured, “Why you’re one of my babies. You’re one of my own children !” She reached out and touched him on the shoulder. The Misfit sprang back as if a snake had bitten him and shot her three times through the chest. Then he put his gun down on the ground and took off his glasses and began to clean them.
Hiram and Bobby Lee returned from the woods and stood over the ditch, looking down at the grandmother who half sat and half lay in a puddle of blood with her legs crossed under her like a child’s and her face smiling up at the cloudless sky.
Without his glasses, The Misfit’s eyes were red-rimmed and pale and defenseless-looking. “Take her off and thow her where you thown the others,” he said, picking up the cat that was rubbing itself against his leg.
“She was a talker, wasn’t she?” Bobby Lee said, sliding down the ditch with a yodel.
“She would of been a good woman,” The Misfit said, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.”
“Some fun!” Bobby Lee said.
“Shut up, Bobby Lee,” The Misfit said. “It’s no real pleasure in life.”

[Reading Mark 12: 41-44]
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on.”

[Song: Mumblin Word]

They led him to Pilate’s bar
Not a word, not a word, not a word
They led him to Pilate’s bar
Not a word, not a word, not a word
They led him to Pilate’s bar
But he never said a mumblin’ word
Not a word, not a word, not a word

They all cried, “Crucify!”
Not a word, not a word, not a word
They all cried, “Crucify!”
Not a word, not a word, not a word
They all cried, “Crucify!”
But he never said a mumblin’ word
Not a word, not a word, not a word

We nailed him on to a tree
Not a word, not a word, not a word
We nailed him on to a tree
Not a word, not a word, not a word
We nailed him on to a tree
But he never said a mumblin’ word
Not a word, not a word, not a word


It didn’t work.
The bargain didn’t play out.
We were good and bad things happened.
They were bad and good things happened.
It’s almost as if you take pleasure in blessing the wicked.
They don’t love you, and yet it seems like you favour them.
How does that make any sense?

We probably won’t make a big deal out of it.
Just wish you would have done what we thought.
We held up our end.
It’s a little unsettling to know that this is all unpredictable
We don’t like that there isn’t a formula to follow
or a simple cause and effect
We suck.
We don’t deserve any of this. Why are we here anyway?
Life isn’t worth it. There is no way to make any sense of what’s happening.
So we might as well give up.
It’s like you’ve abandoned everything, and left us to our own confused wanderings
Why? Why God? Why is life like this? Why are you like this?
It’s enough to put someone over the edge.

[Reading – Psalm 41:1-11]
A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek;
I want to drink God,
deep draughts of God.
I’m thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, “Will I ever make it-
arrive and drink in God’s presence?”
I’m on a diet of tears-
tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long
people knock at my door,
“Where is this God of yours?”

These are the things I go over and over,
emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
right out in front,
Leading them all,
eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving-
celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?

Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
“Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
harassed by enemies?”
They’re out for the kill, these
tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
“Where is this God of yours?”

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?

[Song – Were you there?]

Were you there when they crucified my Lord
Were you there when they crucified my Lord
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble tremble tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble tremble tremble
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree

Were you there when they pierced him in his side
Were you there when they pierced him in his side
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble tremble tremble
Were you there when they pierced him in his side

Were you there when the sun refused to shine
Were you there when the sun refused to shine
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble tremble tremble
Were you there when the sun refused to shine

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble tremble tremble
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb


God, Look upon us with mercy.
Our Lord was content to be hung on the cross for us
Our Lord was beaten in the hands of wicked men
Our Lord was silent in the face of mockers
Our Lord was hanging there, for us, for them, for me, for everyone
Have mercy on us Lord

You created us.
You sustain us even now.
Your sacrifice was for us.
Your mystery engages us
Your love baffles us
Your grace empowers us
Your mercy reminds us
that you are God, and we are your creation

This was never about us
This was never about what we could do, or how we could be successful
This wasn’t about us getting it right, or believing the right things
Somehow you dying became all about us
And all about what we could get and where we could go
This was about you all along, your love and who you are.
Forgive us for not seeing that
Or Living it

We are only starting to understand what you did on that day 2000 years ago
We don’t even know what that means for us now
Our efforts are lost and empty and have gotten us nowhere
But the story of you dying is still there, timeless, haunting
We see it, we believe it, but that’s all we know to do

You died, but we need you here, with us.
Come back, come soon.
We acknowledge your dreadful absence and insist on your presence
Come back, come soon, come here.

[Isaiah 53:4-10]
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

[Response – Silence]

[Communion – Good Wine]

People were invited to come up to the front with rocks they were given at the beginning of the service. They were to put their rocks at the foot of the cross in the middle of the room representing their sins that were responsible for Jesus’ death.

At this point, following the elements and Eucharist readings as the wine was poured into the glass he dumped the glass all over the rocks in the middle of the room and proceeded to dump the expensive bottle of wine all over the rocks.

[Reading – End of Crucifixion Story]

There was a man walking by, coming from work, Simon from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. They made him carry Jesus’ cross.
The soldiers brought Jesus to Golgotha, meaning “Skull Hill.” They offered him a mild painkiller (wine mixed with myrrh), but he wouldn’t take it. And they nailed him to the cross. They divided up his clothes and threw dice to see who would get them.
They nailed him up at nine o’clock in the morning. The charge against him-the king of the jews-was printed on a poster. Along with him, they crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: “You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days-so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!”
The high priests, along with the religion scholars, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: “He saved others-but he can’t save himself! Messiah, is he? King of Israel? Then let him climb down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then!” Even the men crucified alongside him joined in the mockery.
At noon the sky became extremely dark. The darkness lasted three hours. At three o’clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard him said, “Listen, he’s calling for Elijah.” Someone ran off, soaked a sponge in sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”
But Jesus, with a loud cry, gave his last breath. At that moment the Temple curtain ripped right down the middle. When the Roman captain standing guard in front of him saw that he had quit breathing, he said, “This has to be the Son of God!”

Go in the uneasy peace of this Good Friday

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