Well, today the table is empty. The candles are still burning, but only just. No ornaments today. No flowers. No organ. No bells, no colorful vestments either. Just the Altarbook. No Lord´s Supper today. We´ll be singing still. Yes, muted – in the sorrowful knowledge that it was “I (who) caused Your grief and sighing by evils multiplying as countless as the sands, I caused the woes unnumbered with which Your soul is cumbered, Your sorrows raised by wicked hands” (Paul Gerhardt), but confident in the Easter reality of our Lord´s victorious resurrection. No more despairing, running away or giving up either. We are assured of His triumphant conquering of sin, death and devil – as the watchword for Good Friday proclaims: “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3,16)
God willing, we will be singing these hymns a capella:
- “Christus, der uns selig macht, kein Bös´ hat begangen…“, which is the German translation of „Patris sapientia” by Egidio of Colonna (1300) by Michael Weiße (1531).
- “A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth…” Paul Gerhard (1647)
- “Nimm von uns, Herr, Du treuer Gott, die schwere Straf …”, which is the German translation of “Aufer immensam” (Wittenberg 1541) by Martin Moller in 1584.
- “O sacred head, now wounded…”, which is the translation of “Salve, caput cruentatum” by Arnulf of Löwen (1250) by Paul Gerhardt (1656)
- The “Litany” for Good Friday.
- “Christe, Du Schöpfer aller Welt… “, which is the German translation of “Rex Christe, factor omnium” (900) in Schwerin about 1875.
- “O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid!” by Friedrich von Spee and Johann Rist.
- „So ruhest Du, o meine Ruhe“ by Salomo Frank 1685.
Lessons from God´s Holy Word are
- Introit Psalm 22;
- Old Testament from the prophet Isaiah 52,13-53,12;
- Epistle of St. Paul 2. Corinthians 5,14-21 (Sermon)
- Gospel from St. John chapter 19,16-30.
I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.Dr. Martin Luther´s explanation of the 2.Article of the Apostolic Creed
And here´s today´s sermon too
Almighty God, we ask You to look with mercy on Your family, for whom our Lord IX was willing to be betrayed and to be given over to the hands of sinners and to suffer death on the cross; who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.Collect for Good Friday