Holy Week

Welcome / Orientation

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We are glad that you are joining with us in going through our Holy Week service worship guide.  

“Holy Week” refers to the week before the death of Jesus.  It began with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

On Maundy Thursday the church remembers the last evening Jesus shared with his disciples in the upper room before his arrest and crucifixion. 

The name “Maundy Thursday” comes from the Latin mandatum novum, referring to the “new commandment” Jesus taught his disciples (John 13:34). In other words, this is “new commandment Thursday.”

Maundy Thursday marks three key events in Jesus’ last week: his washing of his disciples’ feet, his institution of the Lord’s Supper, and his new commandment to love one another. 

Good Friday is the day we remember Jesus’ death on the cross.  He was betrayed in the Garden late on a Thursday, and by Friday He was rushed through a trial, condemned, crucified and buried.

Let us now worship together as we remember the love of God displayed for us in Jesus’ last days during the week of his death and resurrection.

Call to Worship

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you,
you also should love one another.
In worship on this day,
we testify to God’s love shown perfectly in Christ,
and we recommit ourselves
to love one another as a community of faith.

—based on John 13:34, NRSV


O living Christ,
this evening as we gather for prayer,
we are reminded of your solitary prayer in the garden.
It must have been hard to break bread with your disciples that night,
knowing that later one would betray you, one would deny you,
and all would sleep out of weariness when you needed them most.
With you, O Christ, we pray that the cup of testing be removed from us.
We pray that God’s will be worked in our lives.
Preserve us from the Gethsemane sleep
and the sorrow of those who live without hope.
Keep us vigilant in prayer, steadfast in trust,and grateful for your risen presence. Amen.

Responsive Reading  Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Behold, my servant shall act wisely; He shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.
As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—so shall he sprinkle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—everyone—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Opening Hymn    252 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Sheet Music

Reading #1  “The Last Supper”  (Matt. 26:17-20), (Matt. 26:26-29), 
(Matt. 26:31-35), (John 13:21-30)

Hymn  257  Stricken Smitten and Afflicted
Sheet music

Reading #2  “The Garden of Gethsemane”  (Matt. 26:36-56)

Hymn   248  Ah Holy Jesus 
Sheet music

Reading #3  “The Trial Before the Sanhedrin”  (Matt. 26:57-68), 
(Luke 22:55-62)

Hymn 254 Alas and Did My Savior Bleed
Sheet Music

Reading #4  “The Death on the Cross”(Mark 15:1-15), (Matt. 27:33-50)


Silent Confession

Prayer of confession

Eternal God, whose covenant with us is never broken:
We confess that we have failed to fulfill your will for us.
We betray our neighbors, desert our friends,
and run in fear when we should be loyal.
Though you have bound yourself to us,
we have not bound ourselves to you.
God, have mercy on us weak and willful people.
Lead us once again to your table,
and unite us to Christ,
who is the bread of life
and the vine from which we grow in grace.
To Christ be praise forever. Amen.

Closing Hymn     253 There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
Sheet music

Closing Prayer

Please close this time of worship in quiet reflection on the suffering and death of our Savior. Plan to join our live stream on Easter morning as we join to celebrate the glorious resurrection.