Good Friday

A Liturgy for Good Friday 2020



You may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, or a special place within your home or garden.
Traditionally, in church the altar would be completely bare and all other hangings removed.  


The Proclamation of the Cross


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


This is the wood of the cross,
on which hung the Saviour of the world.
Come, let us worship.


O Saviour of the world,
who by your cross and precious blood have redeemed us,

save us and help us, we humbly pray.


The Collect


Eternal God,
in the cross of Jesus
we see the cost of our sin
and the depth of your love:
in humble hope and fear
may we place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.




When I survey the wondrous cross - King's College Cambridge - YouTube

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God:
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet?
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
spreads o'er his body on the tree;
then am I dead to all the globe,
and all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an off’ring far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all. 


The Liturgy of the Word

Old Testament Reading

Isaiah+52:13-53:12 - Bible Oremus


This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Psalm 22:1-11

1.   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
      Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

2.   O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
      and by night, but find no rest.

3.   Yet you are holy,
      enthroned in the praises of Israel.

4.   In you our ancestors trusted;
      they trusted, and you delivered them.

5.   To you they cried, and were saved;
      in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

6.   But I am a worm, and not human;
      scorned by others, and despised by the people.

7.   All who see me mock at me;
      they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;

8.   ‘Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver -
      let him rescue the one in whom he delights!’

9.   Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
      you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.

10. On you I was cast from my birth,
      and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

11. Do not be far from me,
      for trouble is near and there is no one to help.


Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever.


New Testament Reading

Hebrews 10:16-25  (NRSV) - Bible Oremus


This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Silence is kept.



There is a green hill far away King’s College Cambridge Choir - YouTube

Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895)


There is a green hill far away,
without a city wall,
where the dear Lord was crucified,
who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell,
what pains He had to bear;
but we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.

He died that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
that we might from our sins be freed,
saved by His precious blood.

There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin,
He only could unlock the gate
of heav’n, and let us in.

Oh, dearly, dearly has He loved,
and we must love Him too,
and trust in His redeeming blood,
and try his works to do.


The Passion Reading

          The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John (John 18:1-19:37, NRSV):

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

Silence is kept.


The Reproaches    

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow
which was brought upon me,
which the Lord inflicted on the day of his fierce anger.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.


O my people, O my Church,
what have I done to you,
or in what have I offended you?
Testify against me.
I led you forth from the land of Egypt,
and delivered you by the waters of baptism,
but you have prepared a cross for your Saviour.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.


I led you through the desert forty years,
and fed you with manna.
I brought you through tribulation and penitence,
and gave you my body, the bread of heaven,
but you prepared a cross for your Saviour.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.


What more could I have done for you
that I have not done?
I planted you, my chosen and fairest vineyard,
I made you the branches of my vine;
but, when I was thirsty, you gave me vinegar to drink,
and pierced with a spear the side of your Saviour.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.


I went before you in a pillar of cloud,
and you have led me to the judgement hall of Pilate.
I scourged your enemies and brought you
to a land of freedom,
but you have scourged, mocked and beaten me.
I gave you the water of salvation from the rock,
but you have given me gall and left me to thirst.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.


I gave you a royal sceptre,
and bestowed the keys of the kingdom,
but you have given me a crown of thorns.
I raised you on high with great power,
but you have hanged me on the cross.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.


My peace I gave, which the world cannot give,
and washed your feet as a sign of my love,
but you drew the sword to strike in my name,
and seek high places in my kingdom.
I offered you my body and blood,
but you scatter and deny and abandon me.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.


I sent the Spirit of truth to guide you,
and you close your hearts to the Counsellor.
I pray that all may be one in the Father and me,
but you continue to quarrel and divide.
I call you to go and bring forth fruit,
but you cast lots for my clothing.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

I came to you as the least of your brothers and sisters;
I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was a stranger and you did not welcome me,
naked and you did not clothe me,
sick and in prison and you did not visit me.

All:     Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.



My Song Is Love Unknown - King's College Cambridge Choir - YouTube

Samuel Crossman


My song is love unknown,
my Saviour's love to me;
love to the loveless shown,
that they might lovely be.
O who am I,
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh, and die?


He came from His blest throne
salvation to bestow;
but men made strange, and none
the longed-for Christ would know:
but oh, my Friend,
my Friend indeed,
who at my need
His life did spend.


Sometimes they strew His way,
and His sweet praises sing;
resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
then "Crucify!"
is all their breath,
and for His death
they thirst and cry.


They rise and needs will have
my dear Lord made away;
a murderer they save,
the Prince of life they slay.
Yet cheerful He
to suffering goes,
that He His foes
from thence might free.


Here might I stay and sing,
no story so divine;
never was love, dear King,
never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend,
in whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.


Prayers of Intercession 

Pray for the needs of the world, for your local community, and for those close to you.

Give thanks for the saving death and resurrection of Jesus and ask him to be with you now.


Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults
you have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer,
friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.

after the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester


You might then add one or more of the following prayers:


Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care.


O God, help me to trust you,
help me to know that you are with me,
help me to believe that nothing
can separate me from your love
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Lord, in these days of mercy,
make us quiet and prayerful;
in these days of challenge,
make us stronger in you;
in these days of emptiness,
take possession of us;
in these days of waiting,
open our hearts to the mystery of your cross.

Angela Ashwin


The Lord’s Prayer

Standing at the foot of the cross, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.



O sacred head, sore-wounded (music only)

*Paul Gerhardt (1606-1676)

 There a number of different versions of this, as it has been translated from Latin into German* and then into English.


O sacred head, sore wounded,
defiled and put to scorn:
O kingly head, surrounded
with mocking crown of thorn;
what sorrow mars thy grandeur?
Can death thy bloom deflow'r?
O countenance whose splendour
the hosts of heav'n adore!

In thy most bitter passion
my heart to share doth cry.
With thee for my salvation
upon the cross to die.
Ah, keep my heart thus movèd
to stand thy cross beneath,
to mourn thee, well-belovèd,
yet thank thee for thy death.


Thy beauty, long desired,
hath vanished from our sight:
thy pow'r is all expired,
and quenched the light of light.
Ah me! for whom thou diest,
hide not so far thy grace:
show me, O Love most highest,
the brightness of thy face.

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,

for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?

Oh, make me thine forever!

And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.


My days are few, O fail not,
with thine immortal pow'r,
to hold me that I quail not
in death's most fearful hour:
that I may fight befriended,
and see in my last strife
to me thine arms extended
upon the cross of life.

 Silence is kept.



 The Gospel of the Burial of Christ

John 19:38-42 - bible oremus   

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

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