The Wartburg Project

Good Friday Tenebrae Service

Occasional Services



John 19:17–30

17Carrying his own cross, he went out to what is called the Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified him with two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the middle.

19Pilate also had a notice written and fastened on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.”

20Many of the Jews read this notice, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek.

21So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that ‘this man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”

22Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They also took his tunic, which was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it. Instead, let’s cast lots to see who gets it.” This was so that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says:

They divided my garments among them

and cast lots for my clothing.

So the soldiers did these things.

25Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene were standing near the cross.

26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son!” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother!” And from that time this disciple took her into his own home.

28After this, knowing that everything had now been finished, and to fulfill the Scripture, Jesus said, “I thirst.”

29A jar full of sour wine was sitting there. So they put a sponge soaked in sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.

30When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished!” Then, bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.

Responsive Psalms

Psalm 2

Why do the nations rage?

Why do the peoples grumble in vain?

2The kings of the earth take a stand,

and the rulers join together

against the Lord

and against his Anointed One.

3“Let us tear off their chains

and throw off their ropes from us.”

4The one who is seated in heaven laughs.

The Lord scoffs at them.

5Then he speaks to them in his anger,

and in his wrath he terrifies them.

6“I have installed my King on Zion, my holy mountain.”

7I will proclaim the decree of the Lord.

He said to me:

“You are my Son.

Today I have begotten you.

8Ask me,

and I will give you the nations as your inheritance

and the ends of the earth as your possession.

9You will smash them with an iron rod.

You will break them to pieces like pottery.”

10So now, you kings, do what is wise.

Accept discipline, you judges of the earth.

11Serve the Lord with fear,

and rejoice with trembling.

12Kiss the Son,

or he will be angry,

and you will be destroyed in your way,

for his wrath can flare up in a moment.

How blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 22:1-21

For the choir director. According to “Doe of the Dawn.”

A psalm by David.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

My groaning does nothing to save me.

2My God, I call out by day, but you do not answer.

I call out by night, but there is no relief for me.

3Yet you are seated as the Holy One, praised by Israel.

4In you our fathers trusted.

They trusted and you delivered them.

5They cried out to you, and they were rescued.

They trusted in you, and they were not disappointed.

6But I am a worm and not a man,

scorned by men and despised by the people.

7All who see me mock me. They sneer.

They shake their heads.

They say, 8“Trust in the Lord.”

“Let the Lord deliver him.

Let him rescue him, if he delights in him.”

9But you are the one who brought me out of the belly.

You made me trust when I was at my mother’s breasts.

10I was cast on you from the womb.

From the belly of my mother you have been my God.

11Do not be distant from me, for distress is near,

and there is no one to help.

12Many bulls surround me.

Strong bulls from Bashan encircle me.

13Enemies open their mouths wide against me,

like a lion that tears its prey and roars.

14Like water I am poured out.

All my bones are pulled apart.

My heart has become like wax.

It has melted in the middle of my chest.

15My strength is dried up like broken pottery,

and my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth.

You lay me in the dust of death.

16For dogs have surrounded me.

A band of evil men has encircled me.

They have pierced my hands and my feet.

17I can count all my bones.

They stare and gloat over me.

18They divide my garments among them.

For my clothing they cast lots.

19But you, O Lord, do not be distant.

O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

20Deliver my life from the sword,

my only life from the power of the dog.

21Save me from the mouth of the lion.

From the horns of the wild oxen you have answered me.

Psalm 27

By David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation

—whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life

—of whom shall I be afraid?

2When evildoers advance against me to eat my flesh,

when my foes and my enemies come against me,

it is they who will stumble and fall.

3If an army lines up against me, my heart will not fear.

If war rises against me, even then I will keep trusting.

4One thing I ask from the Lord. This is what I seek:

that I live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord,

and to seek him in his temple.

5Yes, he will hide me in his shelter on the day of trouble.

He will hide me in his tent.

He will set me high on a rock.

6Then my head will be lifted up above the enemies who surround me.

I will offer sacrifices at his tent with a joyful shout.

I will sing and make music to the Lord.

7Hear me, O Lord. With my voice I call.

Be merciful to me and answer me.

8When you say, “Seek my face,” my heart says to you,

“Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

9Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger.

You have been my help.

Do not reject me or forsake me, O God who saves me.

10If my father and my mother abandoned me,

the Lord would take me in.

11Lord, teach me your way,

and lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.

12Do not give me up to the desire of my foes,

because false witnesses rise up against me,

and so do those who breathe out violence.

13Unless I was confident to see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living—

14Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart,

and wait for the Lord!


Lamentations 1:1-14

How lonely the city sits, which once was full of people!

Now she, who once was great among the nations, is a widow.

She, who was a princess among the provinces, now works as a slave.

2At night she weeps bitterly, and her tears linger on her cheek.

Not one of her lovers is there to comfort her.

All her friends have betrayed her. Now they are her enemies.

3Judah has gone into exile. She endures affliction and harsh labor.

She lives among the nations. She finds no rest.

All her pursuers caught up with her in great distress.

4The roads of Zion are mourning,

because there are no travelers going to the appointed assemblies.

All her gates are deserted. Her priests groan.

Her virgins grieve. Her grief is bitter.

5Her foes have risen to the top. Her enemies prosper.

Because of her many acts of rebellion the Lord has brought her grief.

Her children have gone into captivity in the presence of the foe.

6The daughter of Zion has lost all her dignity.

Her officials have become like deer that find no pasture.

Powerless, they fled before the pursuer.

7Jerusalem remembers the days of her affliction and her homeless wandering.

She remembers all her precious things which were hers from long ago.

When her people fell at the hand of the foe, there was no one to help her.

Foes saw her and laughed at her annihilation.

8Jerusalem has sinned terribly, so she is unclean.

All who once honored her now despise her because they have seen her nakedness.

She can only sigh and turn away.

9 Her flow of blood stains her skirt. She did not consider the outcome of her sin.

Her collapse was astonishing. There was no one to comfort her.

Look, Lord, at my affliction, for the enemy has done awful things.

10The foe has laid hands on all her precious things.

She has even seen nations enter her sanctuary,

nations about whom you commanded, “They must not enter your assembly.”

11All her people are sighing as they search for bread.

They traded their precious things for food to stay alive.

Look, Lord, and see that I have become despised.

12But nothing like this is happening to you, all you who pass by.

Look and see if there is any pain like my pain, which was dealt out to me,

which the Lord made me suffer on the day of his burning anger.

13From on high he sent fire into my bones and overpowered me.

He spread a net for my feet. He turned me back.

He made me desolate, sick all day long.

14The yoke of my sinful rebellion is fastened to my neck.

My sins are bound together by his hand.

They have risen up as high as my neck. He has weakened my strength.

The Lord has given me into the hands of those whom I cannot resist.


Psalm 51

For the choir director. A psalm by David.

When Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.

Be gracious to me, God,

according to your mercy.

Erase my acts of rebellion

according to the greatness of your compassion.

2Scrub me clean from my guilt.

Purify me from my sin.

3For I admit my rebellious acts.

My sin is always in front of me.

4Against you, you only, have I sinned,

and I have done this evil in your eyes.

So you are justified when you sentence me.

You are blameless when you judge.

5Certainly, I was guilty when I was born.

I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

6Since you desire truth on the inside,

in my hidden heart you teach me wisdom.

7Remove my sin with hyssop, and I will be clean.

Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8Let me hear joy and gladness.

Let the bones you have crushed celebrate.

9Hide your face from my sins.

Erase all my guilty deeds.

10Create in me a pure heart, O God.

Renew an unwavering spirit within me.

11Do not cast me from your presence.

Do not take your Holy Spirit from me.

12Restore to me the joy of your salvation.

Sustain me with a willing spirit.

13I will teach rebels your ways,

and sinners will turn to you.

14Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,

the God who saves me.

My tongue will shout for joy about your righteousness.

15Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

16For you do not delight in sacrifice,

or I would give it.

You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17The sacrifices God wants are a broken spirit.

A broken and crushed heart, O God, you will not despise.

18As it pleases you, do good for Zion.

Build up the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then you will be pleased with righteous sacrifices,

burnt offerings and whole offerings.

Then bulls will be offered up on your altar.