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Summary: The following Good Friday service is developed around the theme “Were You There?” to help all identify with being a part of the events of Christ’s sacrifice.

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Were You There?

Good Friday Service

Written by Brad Bailey

Westside Vineyard

The following Good Friday service is developed around the theme “Were You There?” to help all

identify with being a part of the events of Christ’s sacrifice.

Below is a full version of the service including four reflections from characters involved. They each

enter the stage at their respective times. They can use costumes that are easily found at a costume

rental store but simple symbolic clothing could be used as well.

If interested one may also get the following from the Westside Vineyard office: PowerPoint for

service, video piece of Isaiah text, and bulletin outlines. Feel free to adapt in any way for any

purpose… but please maintain appropriate credit for writing.

DETAILED DEVELOPMENT:

A/V – Service is designed to be a bit more dramatic in style.

Pre-service - Begins with house lights a bit more dim than usual. Stage dark. Screen lower to

allow larger images

• Pre-Service Multimedia Loop (Can use any cross related loops or video pieces… along with

PowerPoint slides announcing Easter services and other information.)

Opening songs (AV - Keep band minimally lit… able to see them lightly but not brightly)

• Beautiful Scandalous Night (The Choir)

• Were You There (Old Spiritual) – 1st verse - Were you there when they crucified my

Lord?

Short welcome

Welcome to this evening of engaging the most tragic and transforming events in human history.

Tonight we engage the question we just sang... “Were You There?”

The famous Dutch painter painted many events in life… but when he painted the events of God…

he sometimes painted himself into the picture. He painted himself as the Prodigal Son, squandering

money in the taverns with his wife, whom he depicted as a prostitute. In The Raising of the Cross,

he painted himself as one of those who was there…he even kept himself in his modern clothes to

emphasize his personal involvement in the crucifixion.

Tonight we to are invited to find ourselves there.

Prayer: God… Open our hearts tonight… let us discover afresh that we are a part of your story… in

those who fail as well and those in their failure… who receive the most profound mercy and love.

AV - Lights dim to darkness…

Isaiah 53:3-6 on screen

To emphasize the plural responsibility of the suffering of Christ, the following text can be placed on

the screen with words capitalized as shown below. We created a Flash Media piece in which those

2

words slowly emerge forward… and then converted to a video format with music. Less than one

minute in length.

Isaiah 53:3-6 (NLT)

“He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned OUR

BACKS on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and WE did not care. Yet it was OUR

WEAKNESS he carried; it was OUR SORROWS that weighed him down. And WE thought his

troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for OUR

REBELLION, crushed for OUR SINS. He was beaten so WE could be whole. He was whipped so

WE could be healed. ALL OF US, like sheep, have strayed away. WE have left God’s paths to

follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us ALL.

Begin a progression of series of reflections that come with verse of “Were You There?”, then

Scriptural text read from front off stage, then related character emerging on stage reflecting on their

part in being there, each ending… “Yes I was there. Weren’t we all?”…followed by one minute of

silent reflection.

AV - Throughout each series below:

• Scripture Reader will read from center floor in front of stage. Desire is enough light to note him

but limit spreading onto stage… which should be as dark as possible.

• Character Reflections: Characters should enter from edge of stage curtain… alternating sides and

taking place on the same side of stage. Each will have a clip on wireless microphone or each side

should have one to share. If only one available, one can easily be shared between all for but they

will need to physically return to location of next character to transfer.

• Band / Singers leading transitional verses of “Were You There?” should remain minimally seen

between verses (seated or moved out of site as needed.) Lit lightly not brightly during singing of

verses.

1. “Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?”

Transitional Verse Of “Were You There?”: “Were you there when they nailed him to the

tree?.” (2nd verse of standard song)

Hearing the events: Reading of Luke 23:44-46; Luke 23:44-46

Luke 23:44-46 (NIV)

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 for

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