Lenten Worship 2021

The Hands of the Passion – March 24, 2021

Order of Service: Prayer at the Close of Day Compline Service

P: The Lord Almighty grant us a quiet night and peace at the last.

C: (sing) Amen.

P: It is good to give thanks to the Lord,

C: (sing) To sing praise to your name, O Most High;

P: To herald your love in the morning,

C: (sing) Your truth at the close of day.

P: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

C: (sing) Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.


Evening Hymn 590 God, Who Made the Earth and Heaven

1  God, who made the earth and heaven, Darkness and light,

You the day for work have given, For rest the night.

May your angel host defend us, Slumber sweet your mercy send us,

Holy dreams and hopes attend us All through the night.


2  And when morn again shall call us To run life’s way,

May we still, whate’er befall us, Your will obey.

From the pow’r of evil hide us; In the narrow pathway guide us;

Never be your smile denied us, All through the day.


3  Guard us waking, guard us sleeping, And, when we die,

May we in your mighty keeping All peaceful lie.

When the last dread call shall wake us, Then, O Lord, do not forsake us,

But to reign in glory take us With you on high.


4  Holy Father, throned in heaven, All-holy Son,

Holy Spirit, freely given-Blest Three in One,

Grant us grace, we now implore you, Till we lay our crowns before you

And in worthier strains adore you While ages run.


Text: composite, 19th century, alt.


Confession of Sins

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord,

C: who made heaven and earth.

P: Let us confess our sins in the presence of God and of one another.


Silence for self-examination


P: I confess to God Almighty, before the whole company of heaven, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed by my fault,

by my own fault, by my own grievous fault; wherefore I pray God Almighty to have mercy on me, forgive me all my sins, and bring me to everlasting life.

C: The almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, forgiveness, and remission of all your sins.

P: Amen.

C: I confess to God Almighty, before the whole company of heaven, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned in thought, word, and deed by my fault,

by my own fault, by my own grievous fault; wherefore I pray God Almighty to have mercy on me, forgive me all my sins, and bring me to everlasting life.

P: The almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, forgiveness, and remission of all your sins.

C: Amen.


Psalm 91

The shelter of the love of God is my refuge and my light:

I trust in him to guide my days and protect me through the night

Because I come to him in love and trust him in all things

He answers when I call his name: he shelters me with his wings.


My faith is in the Lord alone, his Word my help and shield.

When thousand stumble by my side, his faithfulness is revealed.

Because I come to him in love and trust him in all things

He answers when I call his name: he shelters me with his wings.


Ever safe within his love I'll be secure through all my days,

The wonder of his mighty love always fills my heart with praise.

Because I come to him in love and trust him in all things

He answers when I call his name: he shelters me with his wings.


Lesson (Passion history)


Two other men, who were criminals, were led away with Jesus to be executed. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means, “The place of a skull.” They offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. They crucified him there with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Now it was the third hour when they crucified him.

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

Many 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.

So 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.”’”

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

When 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. So 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. Then they sat down and were keeping watch over him there.

People who passed by kept insulting him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

Those who were crucified with him also insulted him. In the same way the chief priests, experts in the law, and elders kept mocking him. They said, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself. If he’s the King of Israel, let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now, if he wants him, because he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

One of the criminals hanging there was blaspheming him, saying, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God, since you are under the same condemnation? We are punished justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for what we have done, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.”

Jesus said to him, “Amen I tell you: Today you will be with me in paradise.”

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

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

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun was darkened.

At the ninth hour Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah!”

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

A jar full of sour wine was sitting there. Immediately one of them ran, took a sponge, and soaked it with sour wine. Then he put it on a stick and gave him a drink.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished!”

Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” When he had said this, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Suddenly the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and rocks were split. Tombs were opened, and many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised to life. Those who came out of the tombs went into the holy city after Jesus’ resurrection and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those who were guarding Jesus with him saw the earthquake and how he cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last, they were terrified and began to glorify God, saying, “This man really was righteous. Truly this was the Son of God.”

When all the groups of people who had gathered to see this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their chests. All those who knew Jesus, and many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and who had served him, were there, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, Salome, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Since it was the Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses over the Sabbath (because that Sabbath was a particularly important day). They asked Pilate to have the men’s legs broken and the bodies taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who was crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other man.

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. Immediately blood and water came out. The one who saw it has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. Indeed, these things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, “Not one of his bones will be broken.” Again another Scripture says, “They will look at the one they pierced.”

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews. Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the council, was a good and righteous man. He had not agreed with their plan and action. He was looking forward to the kingdom of God. He boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Pilate was surprised that Jesus was already dead. He summoned the centurion and asked him if Jesus had been dead for a long time. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he granted the body to Joseph. Joseph bought a linen cloth, came, and took Jesus’ body away. Nicodemus, who earlier had come to Jesus at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-two pounds.

They took Jesus’ body and bound it with linen strips along with the spices, in accord with Jewish burial customs.

There was a garden at the place where Jesus was crucified. And in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. So they laid Jesus there, because it was the Jewish Preparation Day, and the tomb was near. Joseph took the body and laid it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock. He rolled a large stone over the tomb’s entrance and left.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed after Joseph, and they observed the tomb and how Jesus’ body was laid there. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were watching where the body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

On the next day, which was the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered in the presence of Pilate and said, “Sir, we remembered what that deceiver said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give a command that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise his disciples might steal his body and tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead.’ And this last deception will be worse than the first.”

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard. Go, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and posting a guard.

P: Into your hands I commend my spirit.

C: (sing) Into your hands I commend my spirit.

P: You have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth

C: (sing) Into your hands I commend my spirit.

P: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

C: (sing)  Into your hands I commend my spirit.


Hymn 116  In the Hour of Trial

1  In the hour of trial, Jesus, plead for me

Lest by base denial I unworthy be.

When you see me waver, With a look recall,

Nor for fear or favor Ever let me fall.


2  With forbidden pleasures Should this vain world charm

Or its tempting treasures Spread to work me harm,

Bring to my remembrance Sad Gethsemane

Or, in darker semblance, Cross-crowned Calvary.


3  Should your mercy send me Sorrow, toil, and woe,

Or should pain attend me On my path below,

Grant that I may never Fail your cross to view;

Grant that I may ever Cast my care on you.


4  When my life is ending, Though in grief or pain,

When my body changes Back to dust again,

On your truth relying, Through that mortal strife,

Jesus, take me, dying, To eternal life.


Text: James Montgomery, 1771-1854, alt.



Sermon: Hands of Self-Preservation (Pilate)              Matthew 27:15-26

15 At the time of the Festival the governor had a custom to release to the crowd any one prisoner they wanted. 16 At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17 So when they were assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you? Barabbas—or Jesus, who is called Christ?” 18 For Pilate knew that they had handed Jesus over to him because of envy.

19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, Pilate’s wife sent him a message. “Have nothing to do with that righteous man,” she said, “since I have suffered many things today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus put to death. 21 The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”

“Barabbas!” they said.

22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?”

They all said to him, “Crucify him!”

23 But the governor said, “Why? What has he done wrong?”

But they kept shouting even louder: “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing and that instead it was turning into a riot, he took water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am innocent of this righteous man’s blood. It is your responsibility.”

25 And all the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but he had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified.


P: Hear my prayer, O Lord.

C: (sing) Listen to my cry.

P: Keep me as the apple of your eye.

C: (sing) Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

P: In righteousness I shall see you.

C: (sing) When I awake, your presence will give me joy.


Prayer of the Church

Lord’s Prayer

C: (sing) Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us; Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. 


Hymn 454 vv. 1,3,4 &5                I Gave My Life for Thee

The Lamb, the Lamb,

1  I gave my life for thee; My precious blood I shed

That thou might’st ransomed be And quickened from the dead.

I gave my life for thee; Come, give thyself to me!


3  I spent long years for thee In weariness and woe

That an eternity Of joy thou mightest know.

I spent long years for thee; Come, spend thy years for me.


4  I suffered much for thee, More than my tongue may tell,

Of bitt’rest agony, To rescue thee from hell.

I suffered much for thee; Come, bear thy cross with me.


5  And I have brought to thee Down from my home above

Salvation full and free, My pardon and my love.

Great gifts I brought for thee; Come, bring thy gifts to me.


Text: Frances R. Havergal, 1836-79, alt.


Gospel Canticle

P: Guide us waking, O Lord,

C: (sing) And guard us sleeping:

P: That awake we may watch with Christ,

C: (sing) And asleep we may rest in peace.

C: (sing) In peace, Lord, in peace you let your servant now depart according to your word.  For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for  every people, a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.  In peace, in peace.



P: The almighty and merciful Lord - the Father, the Son,† and the Holy Spirit - bless us and keep us.

C: Amen.