The Evening before – for Young families

On Thursday evening, before bedtime, spend time with the family to read these 5 scriptures, remembering the moments that led up to the crucifixion of our Saviour.

For a template that suits an older audience, click HERE.

Form of Service

There are 5 readings. 5 candles can be lit, and after each reading, one candle is extinguished. This helps convey the approaching darkness of the crucifixion.

If you wish to also hold Communion together, request the instructions from Malcolm (071 702 1331, or Or see here – Communion Notice.


  1. A Lamp / or enough light to read by – Decide who will read which scriptures
  2. Bibles or printed scriptures below
  3. Five lit candles
  4. Optional: Communion laid out with glasses and unbroken bread
    • If you wish to hold communion, please request the template from Malcolm ASAP. The elders have developed an important document for this.
  5. You might also want to play some quietly appropriate music beforehand to prepare the mood.


  1. Song: Trust and Obey – available by clicking here
  2. First Reading – Jesus washes His followers feet John 13:1-20
    • Extinguish first candle
  3. Second Reading – The Lord’s Supper Luke 22:14-20
    • Option: Communion
    • Extinguish second candle
  4. Third Reading –Jesus talks about His death John 13: 21-30 and Mark 14: 27-31
    • Extinguish Third candle
  5. Fourth Reading – Jesus prays alone and is arrested Mark 14: 32-43
    • Extinguish Fourth candle
  6. Fifth Reading –Jesus before the leaders Mark 14: 44-72
    • Extinguish Fifth candle
  7. Finish quietly and keep the environment un-hyped.
  8. Bedtime.

Readings (from International Children’s Bible )

Parents, this is for the benefit of your children. If you are losing their attention in the long readings, feel free to summarise the points. Your goal is to engage with them and get them expectant for the crucifixion of Jesus for our sins.

READING 1: John 13:1-20 Jesus Washes His Followers’ Feet

13 It was almost time for the Jewish Passover Feast. Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave this world and go back to the Father. He had always loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them all the way to the end.Jesus and his followers were at the evening meal. The devil had already persuaded Judas Iscariot to turn against Jesus. (Judas was the son of Simon.) Jesus knew that the Father had given him power over everything. He also knew that he had come from God and was going back to God. So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet. He dried them with the towel that was wrapped around him.Jesus came to Simon Peter. But Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”Jesus answered, “You don’t understand what I am doing now. But you will understand later.”Peter said, “No! You will never wash my feet.”Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, then you are not one of my people.”Simon Peter answered, “Lord, after you wash my feet, wash my hands and my head, too!”10 Jesus said, “After a person has had a bath, his whole body is clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And you men are clean, but not all of you.” 11 Jesus knew who would turn against him. That is why Jesus said, “Not all of you are clean.”12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and sat down again. Jesus asked, “Do you understand what I have just done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ And this is right, because that is what I am. 14 I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash each other’s feet. 15 I did this as an example for you. So you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth. A servant is not greater than his master. A messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.18 “I am not talking about all of you. I know those I have chosen. But what the Scripture said must happen: ‘The man who ate at my table has now turned against me.’[a] 19 I am telling you this now before it happens. Then when it happens you will believe that I am he. 20 I tell you the truth. Whoever accepts anyone I send also accepts me. And whoever accepts me also accepts the One who sent me.”

Extinguish First candle 

READING 2: Luke 22:14-20 The Lord’s Supper

14 When the time came, Jesus and the apostles were sitting at the table. 15 He said to them, “I wanted very much to eat this Passover meal with you before I die. 16 I will never eat another Passover meal until it is given its true meaning in the kingdom of God.”17 Then Jesus took a cup. He gave thanks to God for it and said, “Take this cup and give it to everyone here. 18 I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine[a] until God’s kingdom comes.”19 Then Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for it, broke it, and gave it to the apostles. Then Jesus said, “This bread is my body[b] that I am giving for you. Do this to remember me.” 20 In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup shows the new agreement that God makes with his people. This new agreement begins with my blood which is poured out for you.”

Extinguish Second candle

READING 3: John 13:21-30 Jesus Talks About His Death

21 After Jesus said this, he was very troubled. He said openly, “I tell you the truth. One of you will turn against me.”22 The followers all looked at each other. They did not know whom Jesus was talking about. 23 One of the followers was sitting[a] next to Jesus. This was the follower Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter made signs to him to ask Jesus who it was that he was talking about.25 That follower leaned closer to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it that will turn against you?”26 Jesus answered, “I will dip this bread into the dish. The man I give it to is the man who will turn against me.” So Jesus took a piece of bread. He dipped it and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus said to Judas, “The thing that you will do—do it quickly!” 28 None of the men at the table understood why Jesus said this to Judas. 29 He was the one who kept the money box. So some of the followers thought that Jesus was telling Judas to buy what was needed for the feast. Or they thought that Jesus wanted Judas to give something to the poor.30 Judas accepted the bread Jesus gave him and immediately went out. It was night.

Mark 14:27-31 Jesus’ Followers Will All Leave Him

27 Then Jesus told the followers, “You will all lose your faith in me. It is written in the Scriptures:

‘I will kill the shepherd,
and the sheep will scatter.’ Zechariah 13:7

28 But after I rise from death, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”29 Peter said, “All the other followers may lose their faith. But I will not.”30 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth. Tonight you will say you don’t know me. You will say this three times before the rooster crows twice.”31 But Peter answered strongly, “I will never say that I don’t know you! I will even die with you!” And all the other followers said the same thing.

Extinguish Third candle

Reader 4: Mark 14:32-43 Jesus Prays Alone

32 Jesus and his followers went to a place called Gethsemane. He said to his followers, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 Jesus told Peter, James, and John to come with him. Then Jesus began to be very sad and troubled. 34 He said to them, “I am full of sorrow. My heart is breaking with sadness. Stay here and watch.”35 Jesus walked a little farther away from them. Then he fell on the ground and prayed. He prayed that, if possible, he would not have this time of suffering. 36 He prayed, “Abba,[a] Father! You can do all things. Let me not have this cup[b] of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want.”37 Then Jesus went back to his followers. He found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, why are you sleeping? You could not stay awake with me for one hour? 38 Stay awake and pray that you will not be tempted. Your spirit wants to do what is right, but your body is weak.”39 Again Jesus went away and prayed the same thing. 40 Then he went back to the followers. Again he found them asleep because their eyes were very heavy. And they did not know what to say to Jesus.

41 After Jesus prayed a third time, he went back to his followers. He said to them, “You are still sleeping and resting? That’s enough! The time has come for the Son of Man to be given to sinful people. 42 Get up! We must go. Here comes the man who has turned against me.”

Jesus Is Arrested

43 While Jesus was still speaking, Judas came up. Judas was 1 of the 12 followers. He had many people with him. They were sent from the leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the Jewish elders. Those with Judas had swords and clubs.

Extinguish Fourth candle

Reader 5: Mark 14:44-72

44 Judas had planned a signal for them. He had said, “The man I kiss is Jesus. Arrest him and guard him while you lead him away.” 45 So Judas went to Jesus and said, “Teacher!” and kissed him. 46 Then the men grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 47 One of the followers standing near drew his sword. He struck the servant of the high priest with the sword and cut off his ear.48 Then Jesus said, “You came to get me with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal. 49 Every day I was with you teaching in the Temple. You did not arrest me there. But all these things have happened to make the Scriptures come true.” 50 Then all of Jesus’ followers left him and ran away.51 A young man, wearing only a linen cloth, was following Jesus. The people also grabbed him. 52 But the cloth he was wearing came off, and he ran away naked.

Jesus Before the Leaders

53 The people who arrested Jesus led him to the house of the high priest. All the leading priests, the Jewish elders, and the teachers of the law were gathered there. 54 Peter followed far behind and entered the courtyard of the high priest’s house. There he sat with the guards, warming himself by the fire.55 The leading priests and all the Jewish council tried to find something that Jesus had done wrong so they could kill him. But the council could find no proof against him. 56 Many people came and told false things about him. But all said different things—none of them agreed.57 Then some men stood up and lied about Jesus. They said, 58 “We heard this man say, ‘I will destroy this Temple that men made. And three days later, I will build another Temple—a Temple not made by men.’” 59 But even the things these men said did not agree.60 Then the high priest stood before them and said to Jesus, “Aren’t you going to answer the charges these men bring against you?” 61 But Jesus said nothing. He did not answer.The high priest asked Jesus another question: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed God?”62 Jesus answered, “I am. And in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right side of the Powerful One. And you will see the Son of Man coming on clouds in the sky.”63 When the high priest heard this, he was very angry. He tore his clothes and said, “We don’t need any more witnesses! 64 You all heard him say these things against God. What do you think?”They all said that Jesus was guilty and should be killed. 65 Some of the people there spit at Jesus. They covered his eyes and hit him with their fists. They said, “Prove that you are a prophet!” Then the guards led Jesus away and beat him.

Peter Says He Doesn’t Know Jesus

66 Peter was still in the courtyard when a servant girl of the high priest came there. 67 She saw Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked closely at him.Then the girl said, “You were with Jesus, that man from Nazareth.”68 But Peter said that he was never with Jesus. He said, “I don’t know or understand what you are talking about.” Then Peter left and went toward the entrance of the courtyard.[a]69 The servant girl saw Peter there. Again she said to the people who were standing there, “This man is one of those who followed Jesus.” 70 Again Peter said that it was not true.A short time later, some people were standing near Peter. They said, “We know you are one of those who followed Jesus. You are from Galilee, too.”71 Then Peter began to curse. He said, “I swear that I don’t know this man you’re talking about!”72 As soon as Peter said this, the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter was very sad and began to cry.

Extinguish Fifth candle