Good Friday

Good Friday The Solemn Liturgy
The Church is bare of all ornaments, candles, and decorations. The Sacred Ministers are vested in black, and the Passion Deacons wear black deacons’ stoles.  This service is normally held at noon, but may be used in the evening, especially in communities where few people will be able to attend at noon. The Holy Eucharist is not celebrated on this day. 

The ministers enter in silence. They prostrate themselves before the altar and pray silently for a space, the congregation kneeling. Then the Ministers rise, and the Celebrant begins the liturgy as follows:

Celebrant: Blessed be our God,
Forever and ever. Amen.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John:
The Congregation may be seated for the first part of the Passion. At the verse which mentions the arrival at Golgotha (John 19:17) all stand.

At the verse announcing the death of Jesus (John 19:30), a pause is made, and all genuflect and keep silence for a space.

Dramatis personæ:
John: the narrator is the Deacon
Jesus: the Celebrant
Some or all of the following roles may be shared:
Pontius Pilate
a Woman
a Soldier
a Slave

John: Hear the passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John.
(John 18.1 – 19.end)
John: Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them,
Jesus: Whom are you looking for?
John: They answered,
Soldiers: Jesus of Nazareth.
John: Jesus replied,
Jesus: I am he.
John: Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he,’ they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them,
Jesus: Whom are you looking for?
John: And they said,
Soldiers: Jesus of Nazareth.
John: Jesus answered,
Jesus: I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.
John: This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, ‘I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.’ Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter,
Jesus: Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?
John: So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.
First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter,
a Woman: You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?
John: Peter said,
Peter: I am not.
John: Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered,
Jesus: I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.
John: When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying,
a Soldier: Is that how you answer the high priest?
John: Jesus answered,
Jesus: If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?
John: Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him,
and Slaves: You are not also one of his disciples, are you?
John: Peter denied it and said,
Peter: I am not.
John: One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked,
a Slave: Did I not see you in the garden with him?
John: Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.
Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said,
Pilate: What accusation do you bring against this man?
John: They answered,
Chief Priests: If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.
John: Pilate said to them,
Pilate: Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.
John: The Jews replied,
Chief Priests: We are not permitted to put anyone to death.
John: (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.) Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him,
Pilate: Are you the King of the Jews?
John: Jesus answered,
Jesus: Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?
John: Pilate replied,
Pilate: I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?
John: Jesus answered,
Jesus: My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.
John: Pilate asked him,
Pilate: So you are a king?
John: Jesus answered,
Jesus: You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.
John: Pilate asked him,
Pilate: What is truth?
John: After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them,
Pilate: I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?
John: They shouted in reply,
Chief Priests: Not this man, but Barabbas!
John: Now Barabbas was a bandit. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying,
Soldiers: Hail, King of the Jews!
John: and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them,
Pilate: Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.
John: So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them,
Pilate: Here is the man!
John: When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted,
Chief Priests
and Soldiers: Crucify him! Crucify him!
John: Pilate said to them,
Pilate: Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.
John: The Jews answered him,
Chief Priests: We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.
John: Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus,
Pilate: Where are you from?
John: But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him,
Pilate: Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?
John: Jesus answered him,
Jesus: You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.
John: From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out,
Chief Priests: If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.
John: When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. Pilate said to the Jews,
Pilate: Here is your King!
John: They cried out,
Chief Priests: Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!
John: Pilate asked them,
Pilate: Shall I crucify your King?
John: The chief priests answered,
Chief Priests: We have no king but the emperor.
John: Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
Chief Priests: Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’
John: Pilate answered,
Pilate: What I have written I have written.
John: When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another,
Soldiers: Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.
John: This was to fulfill what the scripture says, ‘They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.’ And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother,
Jesus: Woman, here is your son.
John: Then he said to the disciple,
Jesus: Here is your mother.
John: And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture),
Jesus: I am thirsty.
John: A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said,
Jesus: It is finished.
John: Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘None of his bones shall be broken.’ And again another passage of scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced.’
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.
The Passion of Lord!

“Art thou the King of the Jews? that King of the Jews who has been so long expected? Messiah the Prince; art thou he? Dost thou call thyself so, and wouldest thou be thought so? Christ answered this question with another; not for evasion, but that Pilate might consider what he did. He never took upon him any earthly power, never were any traitorous principles or practices laid to him. Christ gave an account of the nature of his kingdom. Its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within men, set up in their hearts and consciences; its riches spiritual, its power spiritual, and it glory within. Its supports are not worldly; its weapons are spiritual; it needed not, nor used, force to maintain and advance it, nor opposed any kingdom but that of sin and Satan. Its object and design are not worldly. When Christ said, I am the Truth, he said, in effect, I am a King. He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth; he rules by the commanding power of truth. The subjects of this kingdom are those that are of the truth. Pilate put a good question, he said, What is truth? When we search the Scriptures, and attend the ministry of the word, it must be with this inquiry, What is truth? and with this prayer, Lead me in thy truth; into all truth. But many put this question, who have not patience to preserve in their search after truth; or not humility enough to receive it. By this solemn declaration of Christ’s innocence, it appears, that though the Lord Jesus was treated as the worst of evil-doers, he never deserved such treatment. But it unfolds the design of his death; that he died as a Sacrifice for our sins. Pilate was willing to please all sides; and was governed more by worldly wisdom than by the rules of justice. Sin is a robber, yet is foolishly chosen by many rather than Christ, who would truly enrich us. Let us endeavour to make our accusers ashamed as Christ did; and let us beware of crucifying Christ afresh.

Here are some remarkable circumstances of Jesus’ death, more fully related than before. Pilate would not gratify the chief priests by allowing the writing to be altered; which was doubtless owing to a secret power of God upon his heart, that this statement of our Lord’s character and authority might continue. Many things done by the Roman soldiers were fulfilments of the prophecies of the Old Testament. All things therein written shall be fulfilled. Christ tenderly provided for his mother at his death. Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he raises up another for us, where we looked not for it. Christ’s example teaches all men to honour their parents in life and death; to provide for their wants, and to promote their comfort by every means in their power. Especially observe the dying word wherewith Jesus breathed out his soul. It is finished; that is, the counsels of the Father concerning his sufferings were now fulfilled. It is finished; all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished. It is finished; the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away. It is finished; an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness. His sufferings were now finished, both those of his soul, and those of his body. It is finished; the work of man’s redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken from him by force, but freely given up.

A trial was made whether Jesus was dead. He died in less time than persons crucified commonly did. It showed that he had laid down his life of himself. The spear broke up the very fountains of life; no human body could survive such a wound. But its being so solemnly attested, shows there was something peculiar in it. The blood and water that flowed out, signified those two great benefits which all believers partake of through Christ, justification and sanctification; blood for atonement, water for purification. They both flow from the pierced side of our Redeemer. To Christ crucified we owe merit for our justification, and Spirit and grace for our sanctification. Let this silence the fears of weak Christians, and encourage their hopes; there came both water and blood out of Jesus’ pierced side, both to justify and sanctify them. The Scripture was fulfilled, in Pilate’s not allowing his legs to be broken, Ps 34:20. There was a type of this in the paschal lamb, Ex 12:46. May we ever look to Him, whom, by our sins, we have ignorantly and heedlessly pierced, nay, sometimes against convictions and mercies; and who shed from his wounded side both water and blood, that we might be justified and sanctified in his name.”

Look upon the Cross…Look at the victim crucified for you. Ecce homō! Behold He that took your sins upon Himself! I ask you on this most holy of days to be in true repentance with God and Neighbor. Do not squander His ultimate sacrifice for us. We die today in Christ. Though we have a great promise coming in three days. Embrace your Cross, live for Christ each day.

Deacon: Dear People of God: Our heavenly Father sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved; that all who believe in him might be delivered from the power of sin and death, and become heirs with him of everlasting life.

We pray, therefore, for people everywhere according to their needs.

In the biddings which follow, the indented petitions may be adapted by addition or omission, as appropriate, at the discretion of the Celebrant.

Deacon: Let us pray for the holy Catholic Church of Christ throughout the world;
For its unity in witness and service
For all bishops and other ministers and the people whom they serve
For Edward, our Bishop, and all the people of this diocese
For all Christians in this community
For those about to be baptized
That God will confirm his Church in faith, increase it in love, and preserve it in peace.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.
All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Deacon: Let us pray for all nations and peoples of the earth, and for those in authority among them;
For Donald., the President of the United States
For the Congress and the Supreme Court
For the Members and Representatives of the United Nations
For all who serve the common good
That by God’s help they may seek justice and truth, and live in peace and concord.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.
All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility your dominion may increase, until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray for all who suffer and are afflicted in body or in mind;
For the hungry and the homeless, the destitute and the oppressed
For the sick, the wounded, and the disabled
For those in loneliness, fear, and anguish
For those who face temptation, doubt, and despair
For the sorrowful and bereaved
For prisoners and captives, and those in mortal danger
That God in his mercy will comfort and relieve them, and grant them the knowledge of his love, and stir up in us the will and patience to minister to their needs.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.

All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: Let the cry of those in misery and need come to you, that they may find your mercy present with them in all their afflictions; and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray for all who have not received the Gospel of Christ;
For those who have never heard the word of salvation
For those who have lost their faith
For those hardened by sin or indifference
For the contemptuous and the scornful
For those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and persecutors of his disciples
For those who in the name of Christ have persecuted others
That God will open their hearts to the truth, and lead them to faith and obedience.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.
All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
Merciful God, creator of all the peoples of the earth and lover of souls: Have compassion on all who do not know you as you are revealed in your Son Jesus Christ; let your Gospel be preached with grace and power to those who have not heard it; turn the hearts of those who resist it; and bring home to your fold those who have gone astray; that there may be one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Deacon: Let us commit ourselves to our God, and pray for the grace of a holy life, that, with all who have departed this world and have died in the peace of Christ, and those whose faith is known to God alone, we may be accounted worthy to enter into the fullness of the joy of our Lord, and receive the crown of life in the day of resurrection.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.
All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

A Deacon or Priest enters from the narthex carrying a large crucifix, or a plain wooden cross, accompanied by two acolytes carrying candles. The Deacon pauses three times and sings, each time at a higher pitch:
Behold the wood of the Cross, whereon was hung the world’s salvation!
O come, let us worship.

At the Unveiling of the Cross
The cross is placed before the altar, and opportunity is given for all to come forward and venerate it according to local custom. The traditional manner of veneration is as follows:

The Sacred Ministers and others in the sanctuary retire by a side way and reenter through the chancel. The Sacred Ministers customarily remove their shoes, but no other persons need do so. They are followed by those in the chancel, then by the congregation. Each worshipper kneels at the head of the nave, at the top of the chancel steps, and finally at the cross itself to kiss the feet of the figure of the Crucified (or to kiss the foot of the cross, if there is no crucifix). Veneration is normally done in pairs, with the person on the right venerating first.

A procession is formed, and the Sacred Ministers go to the place of repose to bring the Blessed Sacrament to the altar. A Hymn may be sung!

When the Sacred Ministers come to the altar of repose, they kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and cense it. Then they rise, and the Celebrant takes up the Blessed Sacrament and carries it through the church to the main altar for the communion of the people. An acolyte takes up the one remaining candle and bears it before the Blessed Sacrament. Meanwhile may be sung the following hymn, all kneeling:

There is no Holy Eucharist this day.

No blessing or dismissal is added. The ministers retire by the shortest way, and all may depart in silence. After the ministers retire, the cross may be placed in a convenient place for veneration, and candles may be placed on either side. The cross should remain in place on the following day.

2 thoughts on “Good Friday

  1. Padre Tatro, The solemnity of the events of Good Friday & their meaning for us as related in the scripture & your homely are reflected in the simplicity of the liturgy as you describe beautifully here at the outset. Thank you, Padre, for bringing us to the sacrifice of Jesus. Now we await for you to roll back the stone & declare that the Lord has Risen. Phil

    Liked by 1 person

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