Evangelical Lutheran Worship Liturgies
Evangelical Lutheran Worship contains liturgies for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter.
The Three Day Feast: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter by Gail Ramshaw
Recent decades have witnessed the revival of the ancient liturgies of the Three Days — Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter. In this book Ramshaw gives a little history and a lot of suggestions about how these services can enrich the worship life of your entire assembly.
Online Worship Planning
Sundays and Seasons is a comprehensive web-based worship planning site that provides all the resources you need to plan, prepare, and produce worship materials for your congregation.
New Proclamation provides sermon resources for preachers.
Provisional Service Music
Trial-Use and Evaluation
In preparation for a new musical resource to support the Evangelical Lutheran Worship liturgies of Lent and the Three Days, these provisional service music pieces are intended for use and evaluation by worshiping communities and their leaders. Your feedback will help shape decisions on final resources. Please e-mail your comments and feedback to email@example.com.
Each piece can be used in a variety of ways between assembly, leader and choir. Adapt them as needed or use them to inspire your own musical compositions. See Chapter 2 in the Musicians Guide to Evangelical Lutheran Worship for thoughts on the place of music in these services and tips on singing liturgical texts.
Download and print
Links to the provisional service music are provided below. Leader and choir parts are provided in PDF format. Assembly parts for printing in worship folders are provided in as images.
It is helpful to prepare printed materials for worship leaders for the Three Days. Consider placing all the texts and musical resources needed by worship leaders into three-ring ceremonial binders. Highlight speaking parts and instructions for each worship leader in individual copies. Complete texts of the Three Days liturgies are available in print in the Leaders Desk Edition or Leaders Ritual Edition, in electronic text files on CD-Rom, and downloadable files online at Sundays and Seasons. Additional texts are available in print in Sundays and Seasons, Year A and online at Sundays and Seasons.
Assembly Worship Folders
The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies from Evangelical Lutheran Worship are available in separate worship folders for use by the assembly.
If needed, order bulletin covers for Holy Week liturgies.
Arrange rehearsals for all the liturgies of the Three Days. These liturgies are unique, so all worship leaders, even those who have been involved in previous years, need to prepare for their roles.
Be sure the altar guild is well equipped and informed about their tasks for these busy days. Prepare extra communion elements and communion ware needed for large numbers of communicants during Holy Week and Easter. For more information, see the Altar Guild and Sacristy Handbook.
Publicize Holy Week and Easter services in local newspapers and in other media.
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, pp. 628-633
Gospel Acclamation setting 1 (provisional music)
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Cantor/choir and keyboard accompaniment
Gospel Acclamation setting 2 (provisional music)
Locate one or more sets of basins and pitchers and an ample supply of towels for the footwashing. If the footwashing is a new practice in your congregation, prepare a few people ahead of time to be the first to come forward in order to encourage the participation of as many people as possible.
Stripping of the Altar
Recruit and rehearse volunteers (sacristans/altar guild members, even children) to strip the altar.
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, pp. 634-642
Gospel Acclamation (provisional music)
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, p. 635
Look to Jesus, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Cantor or unison choir
Passion according to John
One option for reading the passion gospel is in dialogue form for seven readers with assembly participation. Available in a small paperback booklet.
Purchase a downloadable PDF file of the passion gospels set to traditional chant for three or more singers is available from Church Publishing.
Procession of the Cross
Find or construct a large wooden cross for use in the liturgy. Determine how it will be placed in the chancel or carried in procession.
Behold, the Life-giving Cross (provisional music)
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, p. 639
Behold the life-giving cross, on which was hung the Savior of the world.
Oh, come, let us worship him.
Leader and assembly
Assembly setting 1
Assembly setting 2
Solemn Reproaches (provisional music)
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, pp. 639-641
O my people, O my church, what have I done to you? . . .
Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal, have mercy on us.
Leader / choir
Assembly refrain (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 160)
We Glory in Your Cross (provisional music)
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, p. 642
We glory in your cross, O Lord, . . .
for by your cross joy has come into the world.
Leader / choir
We Adore You (provisional music)
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, p. 642
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
By your holy cross you redeemed the world.
Leader and assembly setting 1
Leader and assembly setting 2
Vigil of Easter
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, pp. 643-653
Determine whether handheld candles will be given to each worshiper. Purchase a new paschal candle. Prior to the liturgy, place the paschal candle stand in the chancel for use throughout the fifty days of Easter.
Recruit someone to prepare the materials needed for the fire, to light it, and to put out the fire after the service of light.
Easter Proclamation (provisional music)
Evangelical Lutheran Worship Leaders Desk Edition, p. 646-647
Decide how light will be provided for assisting ministers and lectors. Determine what level of light is needed so the assembly can participate in the liturgy. Practice setting lighting levels at night with the person who will be responsible for this during the liturgy. Plan how the readings will be proclaimed. Consider having a different person proclaim each reading to enliven the readings for the assembly. Consider reading from an elegant ritual lectionary book.
Holy Baptism and Affirmation of Baptism
If the Vigil of Easter or Easter Day is to be observed as a baptismal festival, publicize the festival for the congregation, and arrange for baptismal preparation sessions with parents, sponsors, and candidates. For the liturgy, prepare the following.
- A baptismal towel may be used and given to each person baptized
- A baptismal candle may be lit and given to each person baptized
- Shell (if used)
- Oil for anointing (olive oil may be used alone or mixed with a scenting oil)
- Baptismal garment for each person baptized (if used)
If the Affirmation of Baptism (Evangelical Lutheran Worship pew edition pages 234-237) is used, evergreen branches for sprinkling the assembly may be used as a reminder of baptism.