Funeral, Special services

Laverne Schmale funeral bulletin

Funeral of Laverne Schmale
September 17, 2021
St. John’s Lutheran Church, Schuyler, NE
Pastor: Rev. Day Hefner
Musicians: Chrissi Bywater, Mitchell Heavican
Ushers: Jon Knutson, Karen Henry, Jalaine Vavricek
Obituary


GATHERING
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

Welcome in the name of Jesus, the Savior of the world.  We are gathered to worship, to proclaim Christ crucified and risen, to remember before God our sister Laverne Schmale, to give thanks for her life, to commend her to our merciful redeemer, and to comfort one another in our grief.

THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM

When we were baptized in Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death.  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Eternal God, maker of heaven and earth, who formed us from the dust of the earth, who by your breath gave us life, we glorify you.
We glorify you.

Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who suffered death for all humanity, who rose from the grave to open the way to eternal life, we praise you.
We praise you.

Holy Spirit, author and giver of life, the comforter of all who sorrow, our sure confidence and everlasting hope, we worship you.
We worship you.

To you, O blessed Trinity, be glory and honor, forever and ever.
Amen.

GATHERING HYMN: Just as I Am, Without One Plea
Soloist: Mitchel Heavican

GREETING

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Let us pray.  O God of grace and glory, we remember before you today our sister Laverne.  We thank you for giving her to us to know and to love as a companion in our pilgrimage on earth.  In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn.  Give us faith to see that death has been swallowed up in the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we may live in confidence and hope until, by your call, we are gathered to our heavenly home in the company of all your saints; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

WORD
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.

READING: “My Mother’s Garden” -Author Unknown, read by Leigh Schmale

READING: Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM: Psalm 23 (please read responsively the boldface type)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.

You restore my soul, O Lord, and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, and my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

READING: John 3:16-17
[Jesus said] “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God. 

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (856): How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
thy pow'r throughout the universe displayed;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
I hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!

But when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
he bled and died to take away my sin;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
and there proclaim, "My God, how great thou art!"
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
how great thou art!  How great thou art!

CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.  On the third day, he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.  

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Let us pray.Almighty God, in holy baptism you have knit your chosen people together into one communion of saints in the body of Christ. Give to your whole church in heaven and on earth your light and your peace. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

Grant that all who have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection may die to sin and rise to share the new life in Christ. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

Give courage and faith to all who mourn, and a sure and certain hope in your loving care, that, casting all their sorrow on you, they may have strength for the days ahead. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

Grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as yet by faith, that, where this world groans in grief and pain, your Holy Spirit may lead us to bear witness to your light and life. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

Help us, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting. God of mercy,
hear our prayer.

God of all grace, we give you thanks because by his death our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed the power of death and by his resurrection he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Make us certain that because he lives we shall live also, and that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, will be able to separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

MEAL
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

OFFERING
There are many ways to make your offering:

  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the church
  • Ask your bank about setting up automatic giving
  • Make a secure offering online by clicking on the button below (opens up our Tithe.ly giving page in a new window)

OFFERING PRAYER 

Let us pray.

God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever. You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine. Nourish us with these gifts, that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

PREFACE

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy… we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

THANKSGIVING AT THE TABLE

LORD’S PRAYER
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, forever and ever. Amen.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

COMMUNION
All are welcome at the Lord’s table, whether Lutheran or not. Ushers will invite you up by row. Both wine and juice are available.

COMMUNION SONG: The Old Rugged Cross
Soloist: Mitchel Heavican

COMMUNION SONG (779): Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! -- how sweet the sound -- 
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come;
'tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me;
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun,
we've no less days to sing God's praise
than when we'd first begun.

POST-COMMUNION BLESSING

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Let us pray.

God of abundance, with this bread of life and cup of salvation you have united us with Christ, making us one with all your people. Now send us forth in the power of your Spirit, that we may proclaim your redeeming love to the world and continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

NEBRASKA NURSE HONOR GUARD TRIBUTE

COMMENDATION

Let us commend our sister, Laverne Schmale, to the mercy of God, our maker and redeemer.

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Laverne. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. 
Amen.

DISMISSAL

Let us go forth in peace,
in the name of Christ. Amen.

CLOSING HYMN: Blest Be the Tie That Binds
Soloist: Mitchel Heavican

Interment will be at Schuyler Cemetery.
A light luncheon will follow in the fellowship hall.


Family Memories of Laverne

Mom and Dad moved to Schuyler from the family farm in October, 1962.  Leigh was almost 5 and Lynn was 18 months.  JoEllen was born in 1970.  They looked at a number of houses in town and selected a modest, yellow, three bedroom home at 612 West 9th Street where mom would live for nearly 60 years.  We had a great neighborhood.  Spales and Svecs to the east, Reas and Krejcis to the west, Capouns, Grouliks, and Mejstriks to the north, and Boshes and Bakers to the south.  A wonderful neighborhood to grow up in, a lot of fun and plenty of trouble to get into as well.  As the kids became adults, we often referred to ourselves as part of the 9th street gang.

By the time her three kids were 11 years old, they all had paper routes.  It was mom’s and dad’s way of teaching us work ethic, discipline, and responsibility at an early age.  Our parents didn’t just preach it but were positive examples.  They helped out by wrapping the papers and driving us on the route during some of the harsh days of winter.  It was truly a family effort.

St. John’s was always close to mom’s heart.  When the church asked mom to teach Sunday School, serve on committees, bake goods for church fundraisers, mom could never say no.  Her cookies, kolache, and poppyseed cake were always in high demand at church events.  She loved St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Mom enjoyed gardening and had the biggest flower garden.  She had a garden in town and a much larger garden on the farm.  She loved to draw animals and flowers and we raised chickens, ducks, and guineas.  A family activity sometimes meant going out to the farm.  Mom and JoEllen would tend to the garden.  Leigh and Lynn would help dad move the irrigation pipe if they weren’t too busy throwing dirt clods at each other.  Mom loved canning, a tradition that she handed down, so that she could feed us with the fruits of her labor all year long.   One particular summer mom canned 50 quarts of strawberries.  That was a tasty treat anytime, but especially in the winter.

In her late 40’s mom decided to attend Platte College in Columbus.  She took pride in being a life-long learner.  Mom earned her LPN cap and worked as a caregiver in the Schuyler, Columbus area for many years.  Seeing Mom’s passion for taking care of others and her own family members, watching her go back to school to earn her nursing degree, inspired Joellen to follow in her footsteps into medical care, putting out more care and kindness into the world.  

Family meant everything to our mom.  She supported and encouraged us in school activities and was proud of the career paths we had chosen.  She celebrated her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Holiday gatherings were very special and something mom always looked forward to.  She cared for her family with great love and good humor all her life long.

Special services

Service of Lament and Hope

Thank you for joining us for worship! Wherever you are, we invite you to create space for worship, both in your physical space and in your heart — perhaps light a candle or fill a bowl with water to remember your baptism, or grab a bible or hymnal, or do whatever helps you most to feel worshipful.

Please click below to support our ministry through your offering:


Click here to watch the video of this service


Sunday, August 1, 2021 • Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Lori Benesch
Ushers: Crystal Callahan, Randy Plummer

Click here to see announcements and the prayer list.

GATHERING
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God, who upholds us through adversity, who consoles us in our sorrows, whose mercy endures forever.
Amen

WORD
God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song.

READING: Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you. 

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

A PRAYER OF LAMENT
We lament before you, O God, Comforter in our distress, the losses that our congregation and this community have suffered. 

We have missed our weekly assembled worship, our sharing of bread and cup, our communal song, our greetings of peace; the full observances of Holy Week and the Three Days, Easter, Christmas, Pentecost, and Trinity; baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals; gatherings for education; fellowship shared over coffee each Sunday.

We mourn members, friends, and family who have died of COVID-19, and we lament with those still living with the effects of long COVID.

O God, we lament our losses, for they are many. Restore us, gracious God.
Restore us, gracious God

At this time, all are invited to use the paper provided to write out their laments from the last 16 months – the grief, anger, sadness, frustration, hurt, and whatever else may be on your heart. We will then move outside to pray and burn these things, releasing them into God’s care as an offering. Anyone joining us from home is also invited to participate by writing and then either tearing up their paper or carefully burning it while we sing.

A PRAYER OF LAMENT FOR THE WORLD
We lament before you, O God, Sustainer of the universe, the tragedies that our world has experienced.

We lament the millions sickened; the countless dead; thousands unemployed; medical systems depleted; frontline workers exhausted; economic security threatened; government assistance inadequate; political discord escalated; despondency rampant; racial injustice intensified; communal engagements canceled, and all the many other burdens you know our hearts carry.

O God, we lament the world’s tragedies, for they are incalculable. Heal us, compassionate God.
Heal us, compassionate God. 

All are invited to add their piece of paper to the fire as we sing our song of lament.  (The song will be hummed through once, then all may sing the verses a capella)

SONG OF LAMENT (All Creation Sings 1050) Sometimes Our Only Song Is Weeping

The assembly returns to the sanctuary.

READING: Psalm 91 (Please read responsively)
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty—
you will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust.”

For God will rescue you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly plague.
God’s wings will cover you, and you will find refuge beneath them; God’s faithfulness will be your shield and defense.

You shall not fear any terror in the night, nor the arrow that flies by day;
nor the plague that stalks in the darkness, nor the sickness that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only have to look with your eyes, and you will see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your habitation,
no evil will befall you, nor shall affliction come near your dwelling.

For God will give the angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways.
Upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion cub and viper; you will trample down the lion and the serpent.
I will deliver those who cling to me; I will uphold them, because they know my name.

They will call me, and I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble; I will rescue and honor them.
With long life will I satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

GOSPEL: John 14:18-21, 25-27
I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.

A PRAYER OF PRAISE
Today, O God of the everlasting arms, we rejoice at the re-gathering of our congregation.

We praise you for Sunday worship in word and sacrament; for the presence of our neighbor; for infants, children, youth, adults, and the aged together; for communal song and live music; for fellowship; for Bible study; for service with one another for the wider community; for our life together on the path of discipleship.

O God, we rejoice at this re-gathering for baptismal life together.  Empower our church, faithful God.
Empower our church, faithful God

Just as wildfires on the prairie make space for new growth, we have faith that God will bring forth new life and transformation out of this time of grief and challenge.  Everyone gathered will receive a piece of paper that has wildflower seeds embedded in it; on this paper, you are invited to write your hopes for our future together moving forward from here.  Where do you sense God calling us to go and grow?  This paper can be planted or kept as a reminder of God’s faithful love. If anyone participating from home would like a piece of seed paper, please contact Pr. Day.

A PRAYER OF HOPE FOR THE WORLD
We pray, O God of safe harbor, for the emergence of a wholesome world: a world with health restored; mourners consoled; vaccines available; hospitals restocked; employment reinstated; poverty averted; sustenance shared; science respected; travel resumed; fear replaced with confidence; sorrow turned to joy.

O God, we pray for the emergence of a wholesome world. Renew the whole world, merciful God.
Renew the whole world, merciful God. 

Give us your peace, eternal God. 
Give us your peace, eternal God

SONG OF PRAISE (ELW 841) Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

Lift ev'ry voice and sing
till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise
high as the list'ning skies,
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
that the dark past has taught us;
Sing a song full of the hope
that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun
of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
bitter the chast'ning rod,
felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
yet with a steady beat,
have not our weary feet
come to the place for which our parents sighed?
We have come over a way
that with tears has been watered;
we have come, treading our path
through the blood of the slaughtered;
out from the gloomy past,
till now we stand at last
where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
thou who has by thy might
led us into the light,
keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places,
our God, where we met thee;
lest our hearts, drunk with the wine
of the world, we forget thee;
shadowed beneath thy hand,
may we forever stand
true to our God, true to our native land.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Rooted in Christ and sustained by the Spirit, we offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all of creation.
A brief silence.

You call your church to be the body of Christ. Awaken all the baptized to the gifts you provide for carrying out the work of ministry. Where the church is divided, knit us together and restore the unity of the faith. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You command the clouds above and cause the wind to blow in the heavens. Watch over deserts and wilderness places. Regenerate rainforests, defend species at risk of extinction, and strengthen the work of conservation organizations. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You summon leaders to respond to the needs of your people. Instill those who govern with patience when confronted with grievances and perseverance in seeking what promotes the well-being of the community. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You draw near to those who cry out for help. Feed those who are hungry, reassure those who are despairing, and accompany those who are imprisoned (especially…). Rain down the true bread from heaven that gives life to the world. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You receive all who come seeking a sign of grace. Make this congregation a place of hospitality for those accustomed to rejection. To those who have felt excluded here or elsewhere, prepare us to welcome them in the name of Christ. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.You provide food that endures for eternal life. Sustain us each day with the bread of life until we are gathered with all the saints and feast together at your heavenly banquet. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

We lift these and all our prayers to you, O God, confident in the promise of your saving love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

MEAL
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.

OFFERING
There are many ways to make your offering:

  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the church
  • Ask your bank about setting up automatic giving
  • Make a secure offering online by clicking on the button below (opens up our Tithe.ly giving page in a new window)

OFFERING PRAYER 
Let us pray. God of mercy and grace, the eyes of all wait upon you, and you open your hand in blessing. Fill us with good things at your table, that we may come to the help of all in need, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and Lord.
Amen.

GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

PREFACE

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy… we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

THANKSGIVING AT THE TABLE

LORD’S PRAYER
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, forever and ever. Amen.

INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

COMMUNION
All are welcome at the Lord’s table, whether Lutheran or not.  Ushers will invite you up by household to take communion at the table. Wine and juice are available.

COMMUNION SONG (ELW 471) Let Us Break Bread Together

Let us break bread together on our knees;
let us break bread together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us drink wine together on our knees;
let us drink wine together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us praise God together on our knees;
let us praise God together on our knees!
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

POST-COMMUNION BLESSING

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Let us pray.

Life-giving God, in the mystery of Christ’s resurrection you send light to conquer darkness, water to give new life, and the bread of life to nourish your people. Send us forth as witnesses to your redeeming power, that we may show your glory to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our living Lord.
Amen.

SENDING
God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.

SENDING SONG (ELW 839) Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God
with hearts and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom this world rejoices;
who, from our mothers' arms,
has blest us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

Oh, may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
and keep us in all grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all harm
in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son, and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven,
the one eternal God,
whom earth and heav'n adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

BLESSING
Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL Go in peace. Christ is with you.
Thanks be to God.

Special services

Some alternate worship options for Sunday

Take advantage of this opportunity to worship with some of our brothers and sisters from around the Nebraska Synod! This is just a small sampling of the options out there — if you tune into another service, drop it in the comments below!

Special services

Good Friday Worship

Welcome to Holy Week worship this evening at St. John’s Lutheran in Schuyler and thank you for joining us. As you prepare for this time of worship, we encourage you to set aside distractions and prepare your heart and your space to be a sanctuary. This may include lighting a candle or having your bible or a hymnal handy. 

Tonight, on Good Friday, we join the women weeping at the foot of the cross as we hear the story of Jesus’ Passion once again. There will be a time to reverence the cross during this service; you are encouraged to find a cross of some kind from around your house, or find or draw an image of the cross on which to focus your attention.


Friday, April 2, 2021 • Good Friday
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Betty Herde
Lector: Jon Knutson

Click here to see the announcements and the prayer list.

All gather in silence.

We gather for our Good Friday service in silence.  This is a day of fasting and grief.  In many ways, this service is a direct continuation of our Maundy Thursday service.  We gather once again to remember the crucifixion of our Lord and to lament our sinfulness and the brokenness of the world in which we live.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Let us pray.

Almighty God, look with loving mercy on your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, 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.
Amen.

FIRST READING: 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: Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you for saken me? Why so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer;by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors put their trust in you,they trusted, and you rescued them. 

They cried out to you and were delivered; they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
But as for me, I am a worm and not human,scorned by all and despised by the people.

All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips; they shake their heads.
“Trust in the Lord; let the Lord deliver;let God rescue him if God so delights in him.” 

Yet you are the one who drew me forth from the womb, and kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;you were my God when I was still in my mother’s womb.

Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help.
Many young bulls encircle me;strong bulls of Bashan surround me. 

They open wide their jaws at me, like a slashing and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint;my heart within my breast is melting wax.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; and you have laid me in the dust of death.
Packs of dogs close me in, a band of evildoers circles round me;
they pierce my hands and my feet. 

I can count all my bones while they stare at me and gloat.
They divide my garments among them;for my clothing, they cast lots.

But you, O Lord, be not far away; O my help, hasten to my aid.
Deliver me from the sword,my life from the power of the dog.

Save me from the lion’s mouth! From the horns of wild bulls you have rescued me.
I will declare your name to my people;in the midst of the assembly I will praise you. 

You who fear the Lord, give praise! All you of Jacob’s line, give glory. Stand in awe of the Lord, all you off-spring of Israel.
For the Lord does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither is the Lord‘s face hidden from them;but when they cry out, the Lord hears them.

From you comes my praise in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the sight of those who fear the Lord.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied,Let those who seek the Lord give praise! May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; all the families of nations shall bow before God.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,who rules over the nations. 

Indeed, all who sleep in the earth shall bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust, though they be dead, shall kneel before the Lord.
Their descendants shall serve the Lord,whom they shall proclaim to generations to come.

They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying to them, “The Lord has acted!”

SECOND READING: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

The word of the Lord. 
Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Return to the Lord, your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and abounding in steadfast love.

The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

GOSPEL: John 18:1–19:42

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, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” 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, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 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, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

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, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 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, “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.” When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 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, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” (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, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “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.” Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “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.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”  After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “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?” They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2And 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, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “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.” From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”

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, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. 

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, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” 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, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” 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, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” 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), “I am thirsty.” 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, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

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.

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 349) Ah, Holy Jesus

Ah, holy Jesus, how has thou offended
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty?  Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
for our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
God interceded.

For me, kind Jesus, was thine incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee;
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.

BIDDING PRAYER
From Worship Guidebook for Lent and the Three Days: Since the third century, Christians have gathered on Good Friday at the foot of the cross and there prayed the great intercessions.  It is as if the cross is in the center of all things, and as we stand with Mary and John at the cross, the bidding prayer opens us up to ever-widening circles of concern.  In these intercessions we ask God to look with mercy on every person and thing in the cosmos.

Let us pray, brothers and sisters, for the holy church throughout the world.

Almighty and eternal God, you have shown your glory to all nations in Jesus Christ. By your Holy Spirit guide the church and gather it throughout the world. Help it to persevere in faith, proclaim your name, and bring the good news of salvation in Christ to all people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for Elizabeth and Brian our bishops, for Day our pastor, for all servants of the church, and for all the people of God.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, your Spirit guides the church and makes it holy. Strengthen and uphold our bishops, pastors, other ministers, and lay leaders. Keep them in health and safety for the good of the church, and help each of us in our various vocations to do faithfully the work to which you have called us. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those preparing for baptism.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you continue to bless the church. Increase the faith and understanding of those preparing for baptism. Give them new birth as your children, and keep them in the faith and communion of your holy church. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for our sisters and brothers who share our faith in Jesus Christ.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you give your church unity. Look with favor on all who follow Jesus your Son. Make all the baptized one in the fullness of faith, and keep us united in the fellowship of love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and your teaching to Moses. Hear our prayers that the people you called and elected as your own may receive the fulfillment of the covenant’s promises. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, gather into your embrace all those who call out to you under different names. Bring an end to inter-religious strife, and make us more faithful witnesses of the love made known to us in your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who do not believe in God.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you created humanity so that all may long to know you and find peace in you. Grant that all may recognize the signs of your love and grace in the world and in the lives of Christians, and gladly acknowledge you as the one true God. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for God’s creation.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you are the creator of a magnificent universe. Hold all the worlds in the arms of your care and bring all things to fulfillment in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those who serve in public office.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you are the champion of the poor and oppressed. In your goodness, give wisdom to those in authority, so that all people may enjoy justice, peace, freedom, and a share in the goodness of your creation. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us pray for those in need.
Silent prayer.

Almighty and eternal God, you give strength to the weary and new courage to those who have lost heart. Heal the sick, comfort the dying, give safety to travelers, free those unjustly deprived of liberty, and deliver your world from falsehood, hunger, and disease. Hear the prayers of all who call on you in any trouble, that they may have the joy of receiving your help in their need. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Finally, let us pray for all those things for which our Lord would have us ask.

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, forever and ever. Amen.

PROCESSION OF THE CROSS

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the whole world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.

Once the cross has been carried in and placed at the front of the sanctuary, all are invited to reverence the cross from where they are seated.  Reverencing the cross may include actions like crossing oneself or making the sign of the cross on one’s forehead, lips, and heart; silent prayer and contemplation of the cross are also encouraged.  Those who are participating in worship digitally are encouraged to grab a cross from around their house or draw one to focus on.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and we praise your holy resurrection,
for by your cross joy has come into the world.

May God be merciful and bless us;
may the light of God’s face shine upon us.
Let your way be known upon earth,
your saving health among all nations.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and we praise your holy resurrection,
for by your cross joy has come into the world.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God give us blessing,
and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and we praise your holy resurrection,
for by your cross joy has come into the world.

Silence for contemplation

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

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 351) O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

O sacred head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown;
O sacred head, what glory,
what bliss till now was thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call thee mine.

How pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn;
how does thy face now languish,
which once was bright as morn!
Thy grief and bitter passion
were all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
Oh, make me thine forever,
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never 
outlive my love to thee.

Lord, be my consolation;
shield me when I must die;
remind me of thy passion
when my last hour draws nigh.
These eyes, new faith receiving,
from thee shall never move;
for all who die believing
die safely in thy love.

All depart in silence.