Tag Archives: Good Friday

What’s So Good about Good Friday?

By the Rev. Darren Miner

Passion Gospel

I’d like to know who decided to call this day “Good Friday,” for there is nothing good about it. It is a solemn day, a dreadful day, an awful day. It is a day of fasting and abstinence. It is a day to contemplate the torture and execution of Jesus on a Cross, a day to confront death itself. And this year, we have to do all this in isolation, trapped in our own homes. No, it is not a “good” day!

So, why on earth do we put ourselves through this torment? Why are we compelled to think about the Cross? It would be much more congenial to skip right over Good Friday and to go straight to Easter Day. Now that’s what I call a good day!

Well, folks, that just wouldn’t work. You see, the road to Easter, the road to Resurrection, goes straight through the valley of the shadow of death. There is no other route. Before we can experience the new life of Christ, we must surrender the old life of sin. We do this for the first time at our baptism (or our godparents do it for us). We do this again and again every time we confess our sins to God, whether at Holy Eucharist or at Morning Prayer. And we do it today in spades!

There are many lessons to be learned from the Cross. But the first and foremost is that Christ died for us. And I put especial emphasis on the “for us.” Put another way, Christ died because of us. Once upon a time, the Church was in the habit of blaming the Jews, all Jews, for the death of Jesus. That slander was false then, and it is false now. One of the hymns normally sung during Holy Week has this verse:

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.


The fact is that we all share in the responsibility for Jesus’ agony on the Cross, for it was our sin that made this terrible sacrifice necessary. And it behooves us to remember that shameful fact on this most solemn day and to grieve.

On this day, for the sake of our souls, we are constrained to imagine the painful and humiliating death of Jesus of Nazareth. For our Lord did not die stoically, as John’s Gospel might lead us to believe. The other Gospels make it quite clear that Jesus suffered both physical and spiritual agony on that cross.

But, thanks be to God, agony and death were not the end of the story. And even on this day, which focuses on the death of our Lord, we need to keep in mind that the road goes on, out of the valley of the shadow of death, to a place of refreshment and eternal life. The Cross, as crucial as it is to our faith, is not the final destination. It is but the signpost to a place beyond death.

Later today, I would suggest that you take some time to look at a crucifix, a cross with Jesus’ body fixed to it. Maybe you have a crucifix on a wall somewhere in your home; maybe you have an icon of the Crucifixion. And even if you don’t, you can always Google the word “crucifixion” and bring up a medieval painting on your computer screen. Just take some time today to gaze upon the life-giving cross and upon the Son of God who was nailed to it. Look upon the one who suffered so that your sins might be forgiven you, and worship him!

© 2020 by Darren Miner. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Holy Week at Incarnation 2019

The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation welcomes all seekers wherever you are on your spiritual journey.

Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122
www.incarnationsf.org | 415-564-2324

Palm Sunday
Sunday April 14, 10 a.m.
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week. We will commemorate Palm Sunday by processing into the church with palm fronds.

Maundy Thursday and Agape Supper
Thursday April 18, 6 p.m.
Maundy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when he established the sacrament of Holy Communion prior to his arrest and crucifixion. Maundy Thursday is the start of the Triduum, a three-day period marking Jesus’ death and burial. The service is followed by an Agape supper.

Good Friday
Friday April 19, 3 p.m.
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross. The service will include reading’s from the Passion and veneration of the cross.

Easter Vigil
Saturday April 20, 8 p.m.
The Easter Vigil (also known as the Great Vigil) liturgy is intended as the first celebration of Easter. The service begins in darkness and consists of four parts: The Service of Light (kindling of new fire, lighting the Paschal candle, the Exsultet); The Service of Lessons (readings from the Hebrew Scriptures interspersed with psalms, canticles, and prayers); The Renewal of Baptismal Vows; and the Eucharist. The Easter Vigil is an ancient litury celebrated on the night before Easter Sunday commemorating Christ’s resurrection.

Easter Sunday
Sunday April 21, 10 a.m.
Easter celebrates the day that Jesus rose from the dead, and symbolizes forgiveness, rebirth, and God’s saving power. The service will start with the flowering of the cross. Please bring cut flowers to adorn the cross.

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Good Friday Service, Fri. March 25 at 3 p.m.


Good Friday Liturgy, Friday March 25, 3 p.m.
The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco

Unlike all other days of the year, the Eucharist is not celebrated on this day but rather “communion from the reserve sacrament” is offered. This is a reminder of Christ’s death and departure from this world. Our Good Friday liturgy will also include the veneration of the cross.

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Behold the Wood of the Cross!

By the Rev. Darren Miner

Bible Readings for Good Friday http://www.lectionarypage.net/YearABC_RCL/HolyWk/GoodFri_RCL.html

Jesus lives! Never forget that, not even on Good Friday! This liturgy is not a funeral for Our Lord. This homily is not a eulogy. We do not come together to mourn his loss.

Instead, we are gathered here today to remember Our Lord’s death and, in some small way, to grapple with its meaning for us. As distasteful as it may be, we must contemplate Jesus’ hideous torture and agonizing death on a cross, for it is at the cross that our sins meet God’s love.

On Good Friday, our liturgy is different from any other liturgy in the year. It’s a muted liturgy, a bleak liturgy, a liturgy stripped bare. On this day, the focus of our attention is the cross—a simple, wooden cross.

This cross is a paradox. On the one hand, the cross is a symbol of torture and shameful death. Crucifixion was the fate of rabble-rousers and rebels in the Roman Empire, and hanging on the wood of a tree was the fate of Jews accursed of God. On the other hand, for Christians throughout the world, the cross is the preeminent symbol of our faith and a sign of hope.


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Holy Week and Easter Services at Incarnation

Come and worship with us during Holy Week and Easter. Everyone is welcome at The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation

April 13 – Palm Sunday – Holy Communion: 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. (Bilingual – English & Chinese)

Our Palm Sunday service starts with the blessing of palm leaves and a procession of the assembled worshipers carrying the leaves into the church. The service then continues with the reading of the Passion of our Lord, followed by Holy Communion. Please join us as we start this important week.

April 15 – Tuesday in Holy Week – 10 a.m. Stations of the Cross & Holy Communion

The Stations of the Cross are a devotional depiction of the final hours of Christ. This service takes the worshiper through a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer by revisiting the chief scenes of Christ’s suffering and death.

April 17 – Maundy Thursday – 6 p.m. Agape Supper & Holy Communion

The Maundy Thursday service commemorates Jesus’ Last Supperwith a simple agape supper at 6 p.m., followed by Holy Communion. The service starts downstairs in our parish hall, and it concludes in the sanctuary with the stripping of the altar in preparation for Good Friday.

April 18 – Good Friday – 12 noon Good Friday Liturgy

The Good Friday service commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion and death in a moving, contemplative service.

April 20 – Easter Sunday – Holy Communion: 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. (Bilingual – English & Chinese)

Come celebrate Jesus’ resurrection at one of our Easter services. Our service includes special Easter music as well as our traditional “Flowering of the Cross.”

Holy Week Schedule

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