Good Friday Ideas: The Torn Veil

I pondered putting together a whole new worship gathering such as the "Because of the Cross" gathering that I have here already, but instead I think I am going to do a whole series of these short ideas. Some of them are going to be things from deeper in the site and some of the are going to be new things that I have recently thought about. My first one is pulling from that old worship outline but I think it is a really great idea.

The Torn Veil

You will need a 3inX3in square of black cloth for everyone in your group. Cut a small slit into one side of the cloth so that they will be easier to tear. You don’t have to be exact with the size, just create something that is easy to hold and tear.

Read Luke 23:45-47.

Begin to pass out the cloths (we placed them in our offering plates).

Say: This small verse is tucked in among the powerful verses of the crucifixion, but it contains a world of hope for us. This veil wasn’t just an ordinary piece of fabric. The temple was divided into sections. The holy place where the priests served and then the holy of holies. This place separated by a veil 3 inches thick was where one priest would go once a year to make the atonement for the sins of all of Israel. The veil was the symbol of God’s separation from us. 

Have you ever felt left out. Sometimes we feel separated from God either because we don’t feel good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough. Have you ever felt like you had messed up too much for God to really listen to you? Have you ever felt hearing from God, communicating with God, was something that other people–better people–did but not you? 

When the veil tore from top to bottom that was God’s way of inviting you in to hang out with Him. It was God’s way of saying that you were now granted access to Him. With Jesus’ sacrifice our separation from God could end.

Spend few minutes thinking about what it feels like to be left out in the cold. You may feel like you are separated from God. If that is the case pray about why you feel that way. If you don’t feel like you are apart from God imagine what it would be like to live your life constantly separated from Him.

Then as you pray, tear your veil into. Then thank God for opening the way for you to be with Him.

After a few moments you may need to tear your own piece of cloth because sometimes people can be self-conscious about being first. 



4 thoughts on “Good Friday Ideas: The Torn Veil

  • March 19, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Hi may I know why black? Since the temple veil is really in scarlet, blue, purple and white.

  • March 19, 2010 at 7:37 AM

    Because for most American church-goers black carries with it the symbolism of death and funerals. It sort of reinforces the good Friday themes. But feel free to use whatever color of fabric you can find close at hand.

  • March 23, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    I am trying to find information about permission to use the Torn Veil piece for a reflective service. It says to see the website. The piece would be adapted for people at a hospital to come in as they wish and to reflect on the meaning of the torn veil. We would provide the cloths and a Bible open to the Luke story and simply invite people into personal refelction. The story would be printed and laminated and meant for reading purposes while people are in the chapel. We would identify the website as the place of origin and make sure that credit was given.

    I will need to know permission is granted so that I can make sure I can provide that information to our Director.

    Please respond. Thank you, Kathy Harting/Chaplain/St. Vincent’s Women’s Hospital/Indianapolis, Indiana

  • March 24, 2010 at 3:06 AM

    Everything on is released under a creative commons license. You can click the link at the bottom for more info. Basically you can use it for anything as long as you don’t take it and sell it. If you are reposting the material I ask for a link, but if you are using it as part of your worship time don’t worry about the credit. All of the good ideas here come from God, anyway. I am just happy that you can find a way to use them.


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