Good Friday Creative Project: “Stained”

As we look ahead to important celebrations on the church calendar, Good Friday stands out as an opportunity to employ dramatic effect in connecting our hearts with the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice. Here is how the Duluth, MN Vineyard Church did that one year.

Submitted by: Tammy Morton, Duluth Vineyard Church

Concept: With the idea of “Stained” as the creative concept for Good Friday, we wanted to help people understand/take ownership of the fact that we are the ones piercing Him with our past, present and future sin. Not removed from the actions of others 2000 years ago but our sins, our staining. We were exploring the sound, taste and feel of Stained Good Friday Project--CreativeChurchartsideas.orgsin during the service. Scripture Reference: Isaiah 63:1 “Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save.”

Background: The Good Friday service has always been a major event for our creative community because it is a wonderful opportunity to really use our creative gifts to help people engage more fully in experiencing what Christ’s sacrifice on the cross means.

How it Works: . We had an open call for artists in our community to submit original artwork created under the theme of “Stained”. Writing, photography, painting, and pottery were created. We had graphic designers create a 30 foot banner that would be the background the artwork would be installed on. Drawn on the banner was  a single strait line in black that eventually turned into black and red lines merging into chaos, representing our sin and brokenness and finally being formed into wooden crossbeams.

Stained Good Friday Project--CreativeChurchartsideas.orgWe hung the resulting art exhibit on one wall of the gallery and had people enter the gallery after the service.

For the service we had the auditorium very dark and lit 2 large cotton panels that hung flanking both sides of the stage with red up lights. We had a large wooden cross in the center of the room and down on the floor. We placed a 3 inch masonry nail in each seat so that people had to pick it up and hold it during the service. Our pastor spoke about how sin stains our soul and demonstrated its effects by dipping his hands in red paint and wiping it on a long white clothe as he preached. At the end of his sermon he threw the stained cloth up onto the cross. We then had the everyone come up and drop their nails into a tin bucket placed around communion tables and then take communion under the cross. 

Result:  Exploring sin and sacrifice through our senses was incredibly powerful. The sound of hundreds of people dropping nails into a tin bucket deeply affected people in our congregation and helped them more fully understand what Jesus has done for us.Stained Good Friday

Details: There are lots of elements to this type of service and it needs to have a three or 4 month lead time in planning. There is also a cost of about 300.00 dollars or so depending on location needs. We had to hire a lift in order to hang the fabric from the lighting. Using white fabric panels helps to stretch the budget because you can use it for Easter, as it is only colored red from the lighting.

Materials Needed: Heavy paper for the gallery banner, art supplies, adhesive, cardstock to mount the artwork onto, many yards of cotton fabric for the panels, up lights, a table and basin to hold the red paint on stage, masonry nails, tin buckets, communion elements.

Contact: Tammy Morton: tmorton (at)


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