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Now I’m excited to share this super-duper resource for a creative Good Friday all age service. Feel free to use it in its entirety, or just nab the bits you like.
The story is that last year I was given the responsibility of planning an all-age service for Good Friday.
It’s a notoriously difficult service to get right, because all the things you feel a normal Good Friday service outline should include (being quiet, still, reflective, meditative, contemplative) don’t exactly sit right with the phrase ‘all-age’.
All the examples of Good Friday services I could find online were just not going to work with crying babies, curious toddlers, and Children Who Ask All The Questions (at all the worst moments).
I knew it would not necessarily be a quiet affair (a three-hour meditation would be taking place the same afternoon for those who wanted ‘quiet’) – but, none the less, I was determined to come up with some creative Good Friday service ideas for all ages. I genuinely believed that, through interaction, all ages would be able to gain something from the story of Good Friday, and feel like they’d had a chance to think about it a bit more.
And I was cheered by the reminder that Good Friday is not a sad day…after all, it was on Good Friday that Jesus proclaimed those incredible, life-changing words: “It is finished!” So we didn’t need to be morbid!
Good Friday All Age Service Ideas
My approach was to largely let the gospel accounts speak for themselves – with a little application from the service leaders. There was no sermon. (Just another chance for little bottoms to get fidgety!) I wanted the service to include plenty of opportunity for all ages to respond, and lots of movement. The service had to last under an hour.
This Good Friday service outline is based around a live ‘Easter garden’, which is constructed by participants, and consists of four ‘cycles’, lasting roughly 10-15 minutes each. (Our service ended up lasting 40 minutes, but on reflection we rushed the opening – so I would suggest it should take 45-50 minutes.)
A cycle consists of a gospel reading (re-written in present tense), some application, and then a song, during which something is added to the Easter garden.
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Any questions, feel free to ask. You’re welcome to use my Good Friday service ideas however you like – but I’d love to know if/where they’re being used, so do drop me a line!