Does your church hold a special worship service on Good Friday?

One of the most memorable church services I’ve ever attended was a Good Friday worship service. The service was held in a large auditorium with a single large wooden cross standing at the front.

The service itself was familiar—we read the Bible account of Christ’s arrest and crucifixion, sang somber Easter hymns, and heard a short sermon. But as the service progressed, the auditorium lights were slowly, almost imperceptibly, turned down. The room slowly grew darker until, at the end of the service, the only source of light was a single pool of illumination around that wooden cross. A simple lighting gimmick eloquently conveyed the twin emotions of Good Friday: spiritual despair at Christ’s brutal death and impossible hope in the promise of resurrection.

Does your church hold a special Good Friday service? What is your Good Friday service like, and how does it differ from a normal worship service?

Share your thoughts!

4 Responses to “Does your church hold a special worship service on Good Friday?”

  • Michelle says:

    Yes – we hold Good Friday services. The service you described above is the Tenebrae Service we hold on Good Friday. Throughout the readings, we incorporate sound effects (angry crowd, hammering nail, earthquake, etc.), along with music, and for one of the readings, we do pantomine. We also include Communion in our Tenebrae Service.

    • Andy says:

      Michelle, that sounds like a really neat service. Sound effects, done well, would be really effective. Thanks for sharing.

  • Xavier F. Suarez says:

    Shouldn’t the worship and remembrance of what our LORD JESUS CHRIST did for us over 2000 years ago be in our hearts daily and not just on “GOOD FRIDAY” ??? Please explain why a special service is done on that day, verses everyday we have breath to honor HIM ??? I do not understand… Please forgive me if I have offended anyone, I just need to know. I am new to this. GOD bless.

  • Gwendolyn Phillips says:

    Yes, our church has a Good Friday service. Normally, it involves the preaching of the last words of Jesus from the cross and is presented by different preachers or lay speakers for a previously set amount of time. This year however we changed the format into songs of worship, dances of worship, and a dramatic presentation. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was evident is our midst. All of us were blessed.

    To respond to my brother Suarez of course we remember Jesus’ sacrifice all year long; however, there is something special about setting aside time during the Holy season to intentionally “walk in the steps that Jesus walked” during the 40 days leading to the cross. It causes your relationship with God to grow even deeper. Though I have walked with God for a long time, I am continually amazed when I think of the depth of God’s love for us all.