Facing the Cross Service


Hymn: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Prayer of Invocation

Reader 2

Glorious God, we are gathered here this night
To worship You;
To give you the glory due your name;
And especially,
To remember Jesus,
The author and perfector of our faith.

For the love which sent Him to earth for us,
We glorify you.
For the grace that comes to us through Jesus,
We magnify you.
For the life that is alive in us by the Spirit,
We give you thanks.

Draw near to us, Lord, as we draw near to You.
In hearing your Word,
In feasting at your Table,
In facing your cross,
Our prayer is this:
Let us see your love,
let us submit to your will,
and let us glorify you.
In the matchless name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

First Reading

Reader 1: Jesus in Old Testament Prophecy

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 pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—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.
Isaiah 53:1-12

Hymn: O Sacred Head, Now Woundedstanza 1

Second Reading

Reader 2: Jesus prepares to celebrate the Passover

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread,
when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,
Jesus’ disciples said to him,
“Where will you have us go and prepare for you
to eat the Passover?”

And he sent two of his disciples and said to them,
“Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you.
Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room,
where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’
And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready;
there prepare for us.”

And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it
just as he had told them,
and they prepared the Passover.
Mark 14:12-16

Hymn: O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, stanza 1

Third Reading

Reader 3: Jesus eats the last supper with his disciples

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve.
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it
broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said,
“Take, eat; this is my body.”

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant,
which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine
until that day when I drink it new with you
in my Father’s kingdom.”
Matthew 26:20, 26-29

Silent prayers of repentance

Responsive Prayer of Confession

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, we confess we have failed you
as did your disciples, and we ask for your mercy and help.
When we are tempted to betray you for the sake of selfish gain:
Christ, be merciful to us;

People: Lord, forgive us and help us.

When we do not keep watch in prayer, and will not share the pain
of your suffering: Christ, be merciful to us;

Lord, forgive us and help us.

When we allow the world to silence you, and run away from those
who abuse you: Christ, be merciful to us;

Lord, forgive us and help us.

When we will not confess your name, and fear the consequences of being known to belong to you: Christ, be merciful to us;

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Lord, forgive us and help us.

When we spurn your dying love, and will not offer you the sacrifice of our lives: Christ, be merciful to us;

Lord, forgive us and help us.

Cleanse us from our sins by your precious blood,
and graciously restore us
to your fellowship and service;
for the praise of your glory, O Christ. Amen.

Declaration of Pardon

Beloved in Christ,
The Scriptures give us this assurance:
“As far as the east is from the west,
So far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

It is Good News and a source of great comfort:
“In Christ your sins are forgiven you.”

People: The Lord be praised!

Psalm 103:12

The Lord’s Supper

Fourth Reading

Reader 2: Jesus washes his disciples’ feet

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7
Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10
Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
John 13:2-17

Hymn: Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners! stanza 1

Fifth Reading

Reader 1: Jesus predicts betrayal and denial.

And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”
The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.
So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him.
Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” [Judas] immediately went out. And it was night.
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mark 14:18; John 13:22-38; Mark 14:31, 26

Hymn: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded, stanza 2

Sixth Reading

Reader 3: Jesus goes to Gethsemane to pray.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.
Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Matthew 26:36-46

Hymn: Go to Dark Gethsemane, stanza 1

Seventh Reading

Reader 2: Jesus is arrested in the garden.

While Jesus was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.
And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Mark 14:43-49; Matthew 26:56b

Hymn: Fairest Lord Jesus, stanza 1

Eighth Reading

Reader 3: Jesus appears before the Sanhedrin.

And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire.
Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree.
And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.
And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 61 But he remained silent and made no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.
And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”
But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”
And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
But Peter said, “Man, I am not.”
And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.”
But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.
And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
Mark 14:53-64, 66-67; Luke 22:57-62; Mark 14:65

Hymn: Ah, Holy Jesus

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Ninth Reading

Reader 1: Jesus is taken before Pilate and Herod.

Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.”
But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder.
Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!”
A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.”
But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.
Luke 23:13-25

Hymn: What Wondrous Love Is This, stanza 1

Tenth Reading

Reader 3: Jesus is crucified.

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Luke 23:26, 32-43

Hymn: Lord Jesus, Think on Me, stanza 1

Eleventh Reading

Reader 1

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour, darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine and vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Matthew 27:45-46; John 19:28-30; Matthew 27:51-52; Luke 23:46; Matthew 27:54

Hymn: ‘Tis Finished! The Messiah Dies, stanzas 1-3

Twelfth Reading

Reader 2: Jesus is buried.

And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died.
And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.
And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
Mark 15:42-46

Hymn: Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed?

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Closing Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Glory:
In mind and heart we have walked through the valley of death with you.
Facing the cross, we have been moved to grief and love.
Strengthen us to hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.
Jesus, we love you. We adore you.
To you be all glory—now and forever.
This we pray in your matchless name—the name of Jesus, the Crucified,
Who taught us, when we pray, to say,

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

Hymn: My Jesus, I Love Thee, stanza 1

Silent Prayer