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WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT GOOD FRIDAY

Posted on Sat, Mar 24, 2018

Click to read what some people think and then plan to join us at 7PM for our Good Friday service

Read what Good Friday means to other Christians and then plan to attend Emanuel's Good Friday service at 7PM

 

Interpreter asked its readers, “What is the most meaningful or most moving part of your Holy Week observance or Easter celebration? Why?” For many, they come on Good Friday. How will you remember on this holy day?

My most meaningful Holy Week service is Good Friday. I celebrate this service as a Tenebrae service. As the last candle is extinguished, the whole church is dark, and "Were you there?" is sung by a soloist. It is very moving. The Rev. Dan Baer, St. Luke UMC, Goldsboro, North Carolina

Each year on Good Friday, we have a Cross Walk. We take turns carrying a large wooden cross from one end of Main Street in Hackettstown to the other end and back to church. We follow the walk up with a prayer on the front steps of the church and then a service inside. Every year 20-30 people participate in the walk. Not everyone can carry the cross, but their presence is uplifting to those of us that do. I did this walk five days after I attended my first Sunday service at Trinity. I felt so welcomed by the members of the church. People made a real effort to introduce themselves to me. Carrying the cross through town and having people watch us and see our Christianity sends the message that we can all be saved. Bill Blaskopf, Trinity UMC, Hackettstown, New Jersey

The most meaningful Holy Week observance for me is Good Friday. It focuses clearly on God’s love for me and the extent that God would go to prove that love not only for me but for all humankind! The Rev. Jim Brooking, West Covina (California) UMC

The most moving part of previous Holy Week observances, oddly enough, has been the service of Tenebrae or Service of Shadows. I was blessed to have a pastor at St. Mark’s UMC in Iowa City, Iowa, who did an extremely moving and effective service. With the last candle extinguished as he said, "It is finished," it gave me chills. Such a heart-wrenching experience, giving the shock and utter despair of Jesus's death. Paula Eifler, Pine Island UMC, Saint James City, Florida

The most meaningful worship opportunity for me occurs during Holy Week when the congregation gathers for the Good Friday service. This service takes the concept of a Tenebrae service and integrates the readings with anthems, instrumental selections and hymns that provide an opportunity to reflect and meditate. The candles are extinguished one by one, while the stained glass windows become more faintly lit as the sunsets. Douglas Grogan, First UMC, Peoria, Illinois

Good Friday service is the most meaningful for me. I grieve my Lord and Savior’s death; I realize the pain and agony he went through. He loves me enough to fulfill the prophesy – to die for me, even though he is innocent. A parent giving up his life for his child. This service is what makes Easter morning a such a joyous celebration!!! Satan has been defeated. God has called his Son and defeated death!!! Barbara Hood, Antioch (Tennessee) UMC

The most meaningful part of Holy Week for me is Good Friday. It reminds me and brings to my spiritual journey again the sacrifice that Jesus made for me and also for all people who claim him. No matter how many times I stumble, Jesus picks me up, forgives me and sets me on the right path again. Dick Hohnbaum, Clear Lake UMC, Keizer, Oregon

I had only recently returned to church after being away for many years, and attended the Tenebrae service Saturday night before Easter Sunday in 2011. It was my first experience with that type of service. I stared at the cross and as each scripture was read, and each candle extinguished, my tears increased. It was the deepest realization of my life exactly what Christ had done for me. At that time the term “prevenient grace” was not known to me. Gratitude and thankfulness filled me, as well as anguish for all the “dark years” of my life. At the sound of the drum and when the lights went out, I began to sob. Upon leaving the sanctuary, everyone was silent, except for the sounds of quiet tears. As I drove home, I asked … begged … forgiveness for my past sins as never before even though I had already known in my head that God had forgiven me. That night sleep came quickly and deeply. The next morning I realized for the first time that I had forgiven myself and had finally let go of the guilt that had haunted me for years. Betty Leonard, Community UMC, Ruidoso, New Mexico

I spend Good Friday reminding myself that no matter how overwhelming the problems in my life seem to be they are nothing compared to the terrible suffering, crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross. It never ceases to amaze me that Christ endured it all for those who are merely willing to believe and accept him as Lord and Savior — and whatever issues I am currently facing miraculously shrink in comparison. Barbara Simonds, United Methodist Church of Lenox, Massachusetts

The experience of Tenebrae in Holy Week always hits me deeply. “Tenebrae” is the closing part of our Good Friday service that is so profound I cannot explain it with words only. As the service closes, we snuff out the candles to plunge the sanctuary in darkness. Quietly the altar table is cleared. Finally, a black veil is brought out and covers the altar. I feel the Holy Spirit inside me mourn so deeply I weep for this world of darkness without our Emmanuel. Good Friday is a time of contemplation and repentance with a confidence that cannot be explained, only experienced. It is confidence in knowing that soon the veil of darkness will be replaced with the glorious light of his Resurrection. Larry Stricklin, Alpha UMC, Bloomingdale, Georgia

The most meaningful part of Holy Week observances for me is the Good Friday services. It reminds me of all that Christ was put through and how much he had to suffer for MY transgressions. It keeps me humble and appreciative, something we all often forget to be. Thank you, Lord, for all you have and continue to do for me! Amen. Julie Truhlar, Talmage & Bethany UMCs, Talmage, Kansas

The Good Friday evening worship service invokes such a feeling of mourning as the pastor ends by slamming shut the Bible as the interior lights are extinguished. All people exit silently with bowed heads, grieving for Jesus who suffered the cross all the way to death. They do not speak to one another again until Easter morning services, when the happy announcement is, "He is risen!" And the immediate reply is, "He is risen indeed!" The grieving has ended. Jesus is the Christ. The Savior has defeated death for all of us. Rejoice! DeLoris Witherington, First UMC, East Brewton, Alabama

For me, the most meaningful part of Holy Week is an activity called The Good Friday Walk. This involves raising money to alleviate poverty, but it is more than that. For me, every walk has included some wonderful conversation with other walkers and a strong feeling of fellowship, and also some long silences walking alone, yet conscious of not being alone. And every walk has included for me, in the last few miles, some physical discomfort and fatigue, in which state I feel more than ever aware of what life’s real priorities are, and finally, a feeling of accomplishment, as in, this is what we did together. Nathan Woodruff, Vernon UMC, Rockville, Connecticut

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