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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Good Friday Worship 2021

The Good Friday Liturgy

Good Friday April 2, 2021

Watch the Livestream at

Friday, April 2, at 12:00 noon (or anytime afterward)


We at St. Matthew's Church in Savannah are unable to gather together in person due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. Under the guidance of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, the Vestry has decided to keep our church building closed for all in-person gatherings.

At 12:00 noon on Friday, I will broadcast the following worship service using Facebook Live at After the service concludes, you can re-watch it at any time. This worship service is designed for for use at home while watching the live stream or reading the prayers when you cannot physically attend worship. Lay people may read the entirety of this service.

Today’s service is a “Liturgy of the Word,” very similar to the first part of the Holy Eucharist from The Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer. In keeping with church tradition, I will empty the Tabernacle of all the Reserved Sacrament (the Body and Blood of Christ among us). This symbolizes Jesus' death for us between Good Friday and Easter morning. The Tabernacle will remain empty until the Easter Day Holy Eucharist on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

In 2021, we have made some technological and liturgical changes to our live stream, in accordance with the latest COVID-19 Safety Guidelines from the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. All these changes are intended to simplify the production process of these worship videos and comply with those guidelines.

  1. This liturgy will be performed live on Sunday morning as you watch from home, rather than pre-filmed and edited together. In other words, you are looking at a live feed of what we are doing in the church. This means there will be fewer flourishes on the video, but it will look like actually attending church again.

  2. Due to the "live" nature of this video, there will be up to 10 people in the church on Sunday morning. In compliance with the Diocese of Georgia's COVID-19 indoor worship guidelines, we will engage in social distancing, wear masks at all times, and aim to keep the liturgy under 60 minutes.

  3. Most hymns will be shortened (typically to 3 or fewer verses) and some portions of the liturgy that may be sung will be spoken.

May God protect you from this virus and protect the most vulnerable among us. May we be God’s hands and feet of compassion and service to all in need during this time. Amen.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

The Proper Liturgy for Good Friday

Opening Sentences & Collect of the Day

[BCP, p. 276]

Blessed be our God.

Forever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (52:13-53:12)

See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him--so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals--so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

Who has believed what we have heard? 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, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, 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 with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God

Psalm 22

[BCP, p. 610]

Read responsively by half-verse (at the asterisk).

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? * and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?

2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer; * by night as well, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are the Holy One, * enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

4 Our forefathers put their trust in you; * they trusted, and you delivered them.

5 They cried out to you and were delivered; * they trusted in you and were not put to shame.

6 But as for me, I am a worm and no man, * scorned by all and despised by the people.

7 All who see me laugh me to scorn; * they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,

8 "He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him; * let him rescue him, if he delights in him."

9 Yet you are he who took me out of the womb, * and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.

10 I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born; * you were my God when I was still in my mother's womb.

11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, * and there is none to help.

12 Many young bulls encircle me; * strong bulls of Bashan surround me.

13 They open wide their jaws at me, * like a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; * my heart within my breast is melting wax.

15 My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; * and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.

16 Packs of dogs close me in, and gangs of evildoers circle around me; * they pierce my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.

17 They stare and gloat over me; * they divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.

18 Be not far away, O Lord; * you are my strength; hasten to help me.

19 Save me from the sword, * my life from the power of the dog.

20 Save me from the lion's mouth, * my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.

21 I will declare your Name to my brethren; * in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.

22 Praise the Lord, you that fear him; * stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob's line, give glory.

23 For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; * but when they cry to him he hears them.

24 My praise is of him in the great assembly; * I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.

25 The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall praise him: * "May your heart live for ever!"

26 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, * and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

27 For kingship belongs to the Lord; * he rules over the nations.

28 To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; * all who go down to the dust fall before him.

29 My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him; * they shall be known as the Lord's for ever.

30 They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn * the saving deeds that he has done.

A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (10:16-25)

The Holy Spirit testifies saying,

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord:

I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,"

he also adds,

"I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ According to St. John (18:1-19:42)

NARRATOR: The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John. Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them,

JESUS: "Whom are you looking for?"

NARRATOR: They answered,

PRIESTS AND POLICE: "Jesus of Nazareth."

NARRATOR: Jesus replied,

JESUS: "I am he."

NARRATOR: Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them,

JESUS: "Whom are you looking for?"

NARRATOR: And they said,

PRIESTS AND POLICE: "Jesus of Nazareth."

NARRATOR: Jesus answered,

JESUS: "I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go."

NARRATOR: This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, "I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me." Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter,

JESUS: "Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?"

NARRATOR: So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter,

WOMAN: "You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?"

NARRATOR: He said,

PETER: "I am not."

NARRATOR: Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself. Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered,

JESUS: "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said."

NARRATOR: When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying,

POLICE: "Is that how you answer the high priest?"

NARRATOR: Jesus answered,

JESUS: "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"

NARRATOR: Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him,

POLICE: "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?"

NARRATOR: He denied it and said,

PETER: "I am not."

NARRATOR: One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked,

SLAVE: "Did I not see you in the garden with him?"

NARRATOR: Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed. Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said,

PILATE: "What accusation do you bring against this man?"

NARRATOR: They answered,

PRIESTS AND POLICE: "If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you."

NARRATOR: Pilate said to them,

PILATE: "Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law."

NARRATOR: The Jews replied,

PRIESTS AND POLICE: "We are not permitted to put anyone to death."

NARRATOR: (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.) Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him,

PILATE: "Are you the King of the Jews?"

NARRATOR: Jesus answered,

JESUS: "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?"

NARRATOR: Pilate replied,

PILATE: "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?"

NARRATOR: Jesus answered,

JESUS: "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."

NARRATOR: Pilate asked him,

PILATE: "So you are a king?"

NARRATOR: Jesus answered,

JESUS: "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

NARRATOR: Pilate asked him,

PILATE: "What is truth?"

NARRATOR: After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them,

PILATE: "I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"

NARRATOR: They shouted in reply,

CROWD: "Not this man, but Barabbas!"

NARRATOR: Now Barabbas was a bandit. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying,

SOLDIERS: "Hail, King of the Jews!"

NARRATOR: and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them,

PILATE: "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him."

NARRATOR: So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them,

PILATE: "Here is the man!"

NARRATOR: When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted,

CROWD: "Crucify him! Crucify him!"

NARRATOR: Pilate said to them,

PILATE: "Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him."

NARRATOR: The Jews answered him,

CROWD: "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God."

NARRATOR: Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus,

PILATE: "Where are you from?"

NARRATOR: But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him,

PILATE: "Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?"

NARRATOR: Jesus answered him,

JESUS: "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

NARRATOR: From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out,

CROWD: "If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor."

NARRATOR: When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge's bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews,

PILATE: "Here is your King!"

NARRATOR: They cried out,

CROWD: "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!"

NARRATOR: Pilate asked them,

PILATE: "Shall I crucify your King?"

NARRATOR: The chief priests answered,

PRIESTS: "We have no king but the emperor."

NARRATOR: Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

At the mention of Golgotha, all stand as able.

NARRATOR: So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,

PRIESTS: "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'"

NARRATOR: Pilate answered,

PILATE: "What I have written I have written."

NARRATOR: When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another,

SOLDIERS: "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it."

NARRATOR: This was to fulfill what the scripture says, "They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots." And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother,

JESUS: "Woman, here is your son."

NARRATOR: Then he said to the disciple,

JESUS: "Here is your mother."

NARRATOR: And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture),

JESUS: "I am thirsty."

NARRATOR: A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said,

JESUS: "It is finished."

NARRATOR: Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. [Pause]

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, "None of his bones shall be broken." And again another passage of scripture says, "They will look on the one whom they have pierced."

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

LEV #33: He Never Said a Mumbalin' Word

[Verses 1-5]

1 They crucified my Lord, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

They crucified my Lord, and He never said a mumbalin’ word.

Not a word, not a word, not a word.

2 They nailed Him to a tree, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

They nailed Him to a tree, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

Not a word, not a word, not a word.

3 They pierced Him in the side, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

They pierced Him in the side, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

Not a word, not a word, not a word.

4 The blood came streamin’ down, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

The blood came streamin’ down, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

Not a word, not a word, not a word.

5 He hung His head and died, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

He hung His head and died, and He never said a mumbalin’ word;

Not a word, not a word, not a word.

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Carl Haywood.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97926. All rights reserved.

The Sermon

"Fear and Anxiety" by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Why did Jesus have to die? Why was he crucified? These questions have resonated throughout Christian history for almost 2000 years. As we commemorate and mourn the day of our Lord Jesus’ death, these questions float to the surface once again. There are no simple answers here, but I do want to shed some light on why Jesus died the way he did.

A common thread in Christian history is to blame the individuals who actually crucified him. As we say in both the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, Jesus was “crucified under Pontius Pilate.” Perhaps the blame lies with this Roman provincial governor? Or maybe the blame lies with the Jewish Temple leaders who forced Pilate’s hand and pressured him into authorizing this execution? Each of these approaches is flawed. Christians must remember the history of the Crucifixion (it really did happen), but to lay the blame only at those individuals’ feet is short-sighted.

A more sinister Christian impulse has been to blame entire people groups, namely to blame “the Jews” in all times and places for the death of Jesus. That attitude led to widespread persecution of Jewish people wherever Christians and Jews have coexisted. In much of European and American history, Jewish people feared attacks on their homes, businesses, and synagogues on Good Friday. Christians would leave church and seek “revenge” against their Jewish neighbors for the death of Jesus. That is absolutely wrong and we must reject every hint of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism in our Christian faith. (For what it’s worth, there has never been a strong anti-Roman or anti-Italian impulse in Christianity.)

Perhaps the problem is that we are looking for someone (or “someones”) to blame. Maybe pointing the finger is how we get ourselves into trouble on this. Because the reason Jesus died has less to do with those individuals or ethnic groups and more to do with the human condition. When we deal with fear and anxiety, when we feel threatened or endangered or just unsure, we often lash out at one another. That’s what Christians call sin and the “sin nature” of humanity. And that is at the heart of why Jesus died on a Cross.

The Jewish Temple leaders, who had Jesus arrested and brought him before Pilate, were acting out of their fear and anxiety. We learn earlier in John’s Gospel, that the chief priests and Pharisees were afraid of what Rome would do to the Jewish people if Jesus’ Movement continued to grow. They say, “‘What are we to do? This man [Jesus] is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.’ But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed’” (John 11:47b-50).

They perceived a threat from the Roman Empire, and that threat may have even been valid. But instead of considering any number of diplomatic or religious solutions, these men let their fear and anxiety drive them to violence. They insisted that the only solution was to assassinate Jesus and to do so in concert with the Roman authorities. They allowed their fear to twist their morals. They turned themselves into heroes who were doing the right thing, making a small sacrifice for the “greater good.” But in their self-deception, they had actually become villains.

Similarly, Pilate has no interest in killing Jesus (John 18:29-32, 38; 19:6). Initially, he seems not to care about this situation at all. Then, the more he speaks with Jesus, the more he is convinced that there is no reason to kill him. But, Pilate is unwilling to do a politically unpopular thing that he knows to be right. He is afraid of how the crowds of Temple authorities will react if he denies their request to “crucify him.” He is afraid of how his Roman superiors will respond if he cannot squash a rebellion about a local “king.” His anxiety and fear turns into moral cowardice. He gives them permission to proceed with the execution.

Fear and anxiety are normal, everyday parts of life. We cannot entirely avoid them. But if we are not careful, these emotions can come to dominate us. They can cause us to react without thinking. When we react out of fear or self-defense, like Pilate and the Temple leaders, things tend to go wrong. Sometimes we channel our fear and anxiety to hurt others. Other times we channel these emotional burdens into self-loathing and self-hate. The forces of fear and anxiety can lead us to demonize and crucify ourselves just as they can lead us to crucify others.

Those men placed Jesus on trial, tortured him, and eventually executed him because they were afraid of his movement and what it meant for their livelihoods. They saw his work of love and liberation as a threat to their power structures. We often do the same thing. We are willing to cut corners and cheat our values when we feel threatened or scared. We are willing to ignore the needs and concerns of others at times when mercy and compassion are the best response. And we may be willing to wallow in self-loathing at every step. None of those paths is best.

So Good Friday isn’t really just the fault of Pontius Pilate or Caiaphas the high priest or any of the people who literally conspired to crucify Jesus. It certainly isn’t the fault of one hereditary group (whether Jews or Romans/Italians). That logic just feeds the hate in all of our hearts. It is that part of the human condition -- the fearful and hateful part -- that really killed Jesus.

The Cross was, in many ways, inevitable. There was no scenario where God becomes a human being and doesn’t end up getting killed for trying to start a revolution of love. Because if you place Jesus in any time, place, or culture, with his absolute love and justice, his ministry would anger, threaten, and challenge the people who uphold systems of injustice. Every human society has them. The circumstances may differ, but the root problems are the same. Small groups of people hold wealth, power, and the authority to wield violence within society. And they inevitably abuse it.

Good Friday shows us that even when we don’t mean it, we human beings almost cannot help but hurt people who stand in our way, who make us afraid of losing something or someone we love. In the process, fear and anxiety hurt us too.

And until the third day, it seemed like all hope was lost, like our worst impulses and greatest evils had won the day. But God’s love and mercy never fail us. No matter how great our fears, anxieties, or violent reactions are, God is greater. By God’s grace, our story does not end on Good Friday. It is to be continued at an Empty Tomb on Sunday morning, and in this above all else, we find hope. Amen.

The Solemn Collects

[BCP, pp. 277-280]

Dear People of God: Our heavenly Father sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved; that all who believe in him might be delivered from the power of sin and death, and become heirs with him of everlasting life.

We pray, therefore, for people everywhere according to their needs, reverently kneeling.

The biddings are read by a person appointed.

The Celebrant says the Collects after each moment of silence.

Let us pray for the holy Catholic Church of Christ throughout the world:

For its unity in witness and service; For all bishops and other ministers and the people whom they serve; For Frank, our Bishop, and all the people of this diocese; For all Christians in this community; For those about to be baptized;

That God will confirm his Church in faith, increase it in love, and preserve it in peace.


Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us pray for all nations and peoples of the earth, and for those in authority among them:

For Joseph, the President of the United States; For the Congress and the Supreme Court; For the Members and Representatives of the United Nations; For all who serve the common good;

That by God’s help they may seek justice and truth, and live in peace and concord.


Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility your dominion may increase, until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray for all who suffer and are afflicted in body or in mind:

For the hungry and the homeless, the destitute and the oppressed; For the sick, the wounded, and the disabled; For those in loneliness, fear, and anguish; For those who face temptation, doubt, and despair; For the sorrowful and bereaved; For prisoners and captives, and those in mortal danger;

That God in his mercy will comfort and relieve them, and grant them the knowledge of his love, and stir up in us the will and patience to minister to their needs.


Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: Let the cry of those in misery and need come to you, that they may find your mercy present with them in all their afflictions; and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray for all who have not received the Gospel of Christ:

For those who have never heard the word of salvation; For those who have lost their faith; For those hardened by sin or indifference; For the contemptuous and the scornful; For those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and persecutors of his disciples; For those who in the name of Christ have persecuted others

That God will open their hearts to the truth, and lead them to faith and obedience.


Merciful God, creator of all the peoples of the earth and lover of souls: Have compassion on all who do not know you as you are revealed in your Son Jesus Christ; let your Gospel be preached with grace and power to those who have not heard it; turn the hearts of those who resist it; and bring home to your fold those who have gone astray; that there may be one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us commit ourselves to our God, and pray for the grace of a holy life, that, with all who have departed this world and have died in the peace of Christ, and those whose faith is known to God alone, we may be accounted worthy to enter into the fullness of the joy of our Lord, and receive the crown of life in the day of resurrection.


O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Veneration of the Cross

[BCP, p. 281]

The ministers will carry the cross to the front of the Church, reciting the following Anthems. All then pray silently. The people are invited to come forward to kneel before, touch, or kiss the cross as an act of prayer and reverence.

Anthem 2

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

A Period of Silence

Hymn #168: O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded

[Verses 1-3]

1. O sacred head, sore wounded,

defiled and put to scorn;

O kingly head, surrounded

with mocking crown of thorn:

what sorrow mars thy grandeur?

Can death thy bloom deflower?

O countenance whose splendor

the hosts of heaven adore!

2. Thy beauty, long-desired,

hath vanished from our sight;

thy power is all expired,

and quenched the light of light.

Ah me! for whom thou diest,

hide not so far thy grace:

show me, O Love most highest,

the brightness of thy face.

3. In thy most bitter passion

my heart to share doth cry,

with thee for my salvation

upon the cross to die.

Ah, keep my heart thus moved

to stand thy cross beneath,

to mourn thee, well-beloved,

yet thank thee for thy death.

Words: Paul Gerhardt, sts. 1-3, tr. Robert Seymour Bridges, Public Domain.

Music: Herzlich tut mich verlangen [Passion Chorale], Hans Leo Hassler, adapt. and harm. Johann Sebastian Bach, Public Domain.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #97250. All rights reserved.

The Confession of Sin

[BCP, p. 360]

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

[BCP, p. 364]

And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Communion from the Reserved Sacrament & Emptying of the Tabernacle

[BCP, p. 282]

LEV #37: Were You There?

[Verses 1-3]

1. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

2. Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

3. Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Words: Traditional, Public Domain.

Music: Negro Spiritual, Public Domain; arr. Charles Winfred Douglas.

Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE #84054. All rights reserved.

The Concluding Prayer

[BCP, p. 282]

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgment and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father and Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

All leave the Church in silence.

Parish Announcements

Holy Week & Easter Schedule: See below for highlights and click on the following link for the full schedule:

Good Friday (4/2/21)

  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM   Fr. Arboleda available for Private Confession (phone or video call only; email to schedule an appointment)

  • 5:00 PM   Evening Prayer (Zoom & Facebook)

Easter Day (4/4/21) 

  • 6:30 AM   Sunrise Easter Vigil (Facebook)

  • 9:30 AM Easter Holy Communion (Facebook)

  • 10:30 AM - 12:00 Noon Drive-Thru Holy Communion in St. Matthew's Parking Lot (behind the church building at the corner of Burroughs St & West Anderson St)

The Parish Prayer List

Prayer List: Martha Avery, Donald Bayness, Ronald Bayness, Zavier Bradley, Myrtle Brow-Hollis, Jacquelyn Bryant, Christine Brown, Genella Chamberlain, Taylor Blue Clemons, Annie Colbert, Ana Columna, Lazola Cope, Alice Dailey, Beryl Dandy, Mark Dashiell, Brittany Dawson, Roland Dixon, Eduardo Espinosa, Imani Ferguson, Ruby Fernandez, Harry Frazier, Colin Gentle, Yvonne Gentle, Charles Gordon, Amanda Green, Jocelyn Bryant Harden, Loretta Harmond, Marva Harris, Enoch Henderson, Charles E. Hines, Kenneth Howard, Terri Howard, Dale Hundley, Jared Hundley, Tracy Hundley, Milinda James, Alvin Jenkins, Dana Jenkins, David Jones, Frances T. Jones, Lori Jones, Robert L. Jones, Sr., Whitney Kennedy, Leonard Law, Jr., Ralph Lovett, Ryan Lovett, Tammie Lovett, Marcus Marzen, Joan Maty, Craig Maxwell, Sada Maxwell, Altheria Maynard, Carmelita Maynard, Barbara McCary, Bette Milledge, Hollie Moultrie, Patricia Murry, Russell Nails, Dorothy Neal, Jabbaar Newton, Jameel Newton, Glenzy Payne, Robert Payne, Willie Mae Robinson, Paul Rockwell, Dison Washington Slaughter, James Small, Gwendolyn Smith, Courtney Watts Vista, Ed Vista, Willie Stephens, Lori Ward, Gertrude Washington, and Noel Wheeler

Birthdays: Jordyn Jones (3/29) and Rashad Taylor, Sr. (4/3)

Wedding Anniversaries: Fr. Charles and Evalena Hoskins (4/1)

Recent Deaths: Raleigh Bryant (12/18)

May the souls of all the departed rest in peace; and may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

Note: This service is reproduced from The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (BCP), The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn), Lift Every Voice and Sing II: An African American Hymnal (LEV), and other sources cited. The Scripture readings are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.

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