Good Friday – Years A, B and C

Here are the resources you need for Good Friday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

ADORATION OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS (see Good Friday Word & Prayer order of service)

The notes on page 356 of Church Rites, say: ‘The adoration . . . may not be familiar to many Australian Lutherans. The adoration of Christ on the cross focuses on his crucifixion for us.’ The unfamiliarity of this rite can make it all the more striking, so try to include it in the Good Friday service if at all possible. The adoration of the cross originated very early in Jerusalem with the veneration of relics of the true cross. Later, churches without such relics adopted the practice of carrying a representation of the cross for its strong symbolic and devotional value. The title of this ceremony in Church Rites is ‘The adoration of Christ on the cross’ to indicate that we adore Christ, rather than the wood of the cross.

The cross ought to be large (one to two metres or more in height) and made of wood. It should be clearly visible throughout the church. It may be a crucifix (ie have a representation of the body of Christ on it). In some places, it has become traditional to make a cross out of the trunk of the tree that was used at Christmas, thus drawing together the incarnation and the crucifixion in a visual way.

A minister or layperson may carry the cross into the church. The notes in Church Rites point out that traditionally this person is bare-footed. The intention of this seems to be that of being in the presence of something holy. Care should be taken, however, that the one carrying the cross does not seem to represent Jesus. The cross should not therefore be carried over the shoulder but rather straight up and facing forward, held by the lower upright beam.

There are two ways suggested in the rubrics for carrying the cross into the church. The first suggests that this be done during the singing of a hymn. The following are suitable:

*             ‘Lift high the cross’ LHS 807, TIS 351

*             ‘Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle’ LHS 50 (alternative tune Picardy, music edition of the Supplement A9), TIS 331

*             ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’ LHS 54, TIS 342

*             ‘The royal banners forward go’ LHS 758, TIS 332

The congregation, of course, stands at the entry of the cross. Then, when the song is finished, the person carrying the cross turns facing the congregation, lifts the cross up high, and says or chants (the congregation responding):

Behold the wood of the cross, on which the Saviour of the world was lifted up.

O come, let us worship him.

Alternatively, the cross may be brought in in silence. As it is carried up the aisle, the cross is lifted three times and the response is said or sung each time: once at the door of the church, once in the middle of the church, and once in the sanctuary, at which point, as in first option, the bearer faces the congregation.

The cross is then placed in a suitable position in the sanctuary. Usually it is placed prominently and in the centre. It may be leant against the altar, if large enough, although this may cause difficulties if the Lord’s supper is celebrated, especially in churches without free-standing altars. Alternatively, a special stand may be prepared beforehand, in which the cross may be placed. Candles may be placed either side of the cross.

If a hymn was not sung during the entry of the cross, then a hymn is sung at this point. This may be done standing (especially for a triumphant song such as ‘Lift high the cross’) or kneeling (especially with the traditional song ‘Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle’).

Altar colour: Black or bare

Bible readings:
FIRST READING Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 The Suffering Servant of God (fourth ‘Servant Song’)
PSALM Psalm 22 *For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING Hebrews 10:16-25 Jesus, our priest and sacrifice
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 Jesus, our great high priest
GOSPEL John 18:1 – 19:42 The passion according to St John (This long gospel reading can be read by several readers. A dialogue form of this reading with chorale verses can be found here.)

Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon

Based on the gospel: Pr Vince Gerhardy; edited for lay reading sermon – year a – good friday , sermon – john 19 1-24 – year b – good friday , sermon – john 19 17-30 – year a b c – good friday ; NEW Pr Peter Ghalayini
Based on Hebrews reading: NEW Pr Stephen van der Hoek; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – hebrews 10 17-25 – year abc – good friday

Orders of service:
Good Friday Word and Prayer ( pdf / doc / ppt )
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
The second service: Good Friday (word) An order of service with communion
NEW Good Friday Service of the Word (word / ppt)

NEW Children’s Address: Good Friday

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
Almighty God,
look graciously on this your family,
for whom our Lord Jesus Christ
was willing to be betrayed
and given up into the hands of sinners
and to suffer death upon the cross;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with the you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Almighty God,
look mercifully on your family,
for whom our Lord Jesus Christ
was willing to be betrayed
and given up into the hands of sinners,
and to suffer death on the cross.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with the you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, new (revised alternative)
(Let us pray that we accept the cross of Christ. [silence])
Almighty and merciful God,
we thank you for bringing life and peace for us
through the shame, suffering, and death of your Son.
Teach us to boast about nothing
but the cross of Christ,
and be willing to suffer gladly for his sake.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Bidding prayerGood Friday

Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures ; PowerPoint background for Good Friday

Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH
Use music carefully on Good Friday. Do not use it as a gap-filler. Periods of silence, when intentional, should proliferate. Many actions that might normally be accompanied by music may be done in silence, such as entering and leaving the church and during the distribution and reception of holy communion. If the over-riding atmosphere of Good Friday is one of silence, then at those points where music is employed, it will have an altogether greater effect.

First reading: Isaiah 52 :13 – 53:12

48    Lamb of God most holy* G5
55    O dearest Jesus* G4 (mod TIS 337)
57    A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth (v 1)* G5
58    O world, see thy Life languish * G3 (mod TIS 338)
60    Christ, the life of all the living (tune 478) G5
66    Go, my soul, to Calvary G5
70    Stricken, smitten and afflicted* G3
73    Go to dark Gethsemane* (tune 170) G5
81    O perfect life of love!* G5
84    There is a green hill far away G5
156    Jesus our Saviour, of true joy the giver (v 4)* G3 (mod TIS 208)
22    He was wounded
261    The Servant King
347    O dearest Jesus
208    Jesus has come, and brings joy as our Saviour (v 4)
249    No weight of gold or silver
337    O dearest Jesus
338    See, world, your life suspended
350    There is a green hill far away

Second reading (a): Hebrews 10:16-25

65    Lord Jesus, we give thanks to Thee* G5
67    And can it be that I should gain (vv 1,3,4) (tune Sagina TIS 209)
173    Before the throne of God above G5
282    Draw nigh, and take the body of the Lord* G5 (mod TIS 498)
325    Approach, my soul, the mercy seat G5
859    Seek, O seek the Lord
217    Shine, Jesus, shine
345    Nothing but the blood
209    And can it be that I should gain (vv 1,3,5)
219    Jesus comes with all his grace
464    Seek, O seek the Lord
498    Draw near and take the body of our Lord
542    Far beyond our mind’s grasp
675    Lord, the light of your love

Second reading (b): Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

73    Go to dark Gethsemane (v 1)* G5
81    O perfect life of love * G5
173    Before the throne of God above G5
171    Dying, you destroyed our death
185    Jesus, Son of God and man
205    Join all the glorious names (vv 8,9)
206    With joy we meditate the grace
235    A man there lived in Galilee
374    Entered the holy place above
377    Where high the heavenly temple stands

Gospel: John 18:1 – 19:42

49    Alone Thou goest forth, O Lord G5 Prayer
50    Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle Praise
51    Let Thy blood in mercy poured* G5 Prayer
52    O sacred head, now wounded* G6 Prayer (mod TIS 339)
53    Jesus, refuge of the weary* G3 Prayer
54    When I survey the wondrous cross G5 Praise (see TIS 342)
55    O dearest Jesus, what law hast Thou broken* G4 Meditation (mod TIS 337)
58    O world, see thy Life languish* G3 Meditation (mod TIS 338)
59    Jesus, I will ponder now* G8 Meditation
60    Christ, the life of all the living (tune 478)* G5 Praise
62    My song is love unknown G5 (alt tune LHS A8, G8) Praise (see TIS 341)
63    O darkest woe! Meditation
65    Lord Jesus, we give thanks to Thee* G5 Prayer
66    Go, my soul, to Calvary G5 Meditation
69    Glory be to Jesus* G6 Praise (see TIS 344)
70    Stricken, smitten and afflicted* G3 Meditation
71    Come to Calvary’s holy mountain* G5 Meditation
73    Go to dark Gethsemane* (tune 170) G5 Meditation
75    We sing the praise of Him who died G5 Praise (mod TIS 347)
78    Jesus, who for my transgression G6 Praise
79    Lord Jesus, when we stand afar G8 Prayer
80    Praise to the Holiest in the height G8 Praise (mod TIS 141)
81    O perfect life of love!* G5 Meditation
82    Jesus, in Thy dying woes (Parts V,VI) G5 Prayer
84    There is a green hill far away G5 Meditation (see TIS 350)
85    According to Thy gracious word G5 Meditation
620    O dearest Lord, Thy sacred head G6 Prayer
752    A purple robe, a crown of thorns Meditation
754    Jesus dying on the cross
758    The royal banners forward go G8 Meditation (see TIS 332)
125    Man more than man Praise
139    Christ humbled himself
143    Jesus dying on the cross
245    You are the prisoner Meditation
335    You rode into Jerusalem (vv 4-7) Meditation
338    In a dusty old place (v 4) Meditation
347    O dearest Jesus Meditation
387    Jesus, remember me
141    Praise to the Holiest in the height
331    Sing, my tongue Praise
332    The royal banners forward go Meditation
334    At the cross her vigil keeping Meditation
335    To Christ the Prince of peace Praise
337    O dearest Jesus Meditation
338    See, world, your life suspended Meditation
339    O sacred head Praise
340    Before the cock crew Prayer
341    My song is love unknown Praise
342    When I survey the wondrous cross Praise
343    Nature with open volume stands Praise
344    Glory be to Jesus Praise
345    Were you there? Meditation
347    We sing the praise Praise
350    There is a green hill Meditation
352    O dearest Lord, thy sacred head Meditation
354    O Jesus crucified Meditation
355    Man more than man Meditation
502    Soul of my Saviour, sanctify my breast Prayer
515    According to thy gracious word

22    He was wounded
27     Lord of the dance
139    Christ humbled himself
143    Jesus dying on the cross
261    From heaven you came (Servant Song)
335    And we stood right there
345    Nothing but the blood
347    O dearest Jesus
387    Jesus, remember me
449    Walk him along
451    Saviour of the world

Psalm 22
TIS 9 All who see me deride me is based on this Psalm.

The following paraphrase of selected verses of Psalm 22 by David Schütz (altered) is sung to the tune Herzliebster Jesus (O dearest Jesus) (LH 55, ATO 347). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

My God, my God, why, why am I forsaken?
Why don’t you help me? Why will you not listen?
My God, by day I cry, but you don’t answer,
night brings no sleeping.

verses 3-5
Yet you are holy, ‘throned on Israel’s praises.
In you our fathers trusted, and you saved them.
To you they cried, you were the one who saved them.
You did not shame them.

verses 6-8
But I’m a worm, despised, no longer human;
scorned by the people, mocked by those who see me.
They sneer and tell me: ‘Trust in God to save you –
if you have pleased him.’

verses 9-11a
Yet it was you who from the womb, first brought me;
and since my birth, I clung to you for safety.
You’ve been my God, Lord, since my mother bore me:
Don’t be far from me!

verses 11b-14a
Trouble is near, and there is none to help me.
Like bulls, my foes all circle and surround me.
They bare their teeth and roar at me like lions –
my strength is failing!

verses 14b-15
Like water poured out, and like wax that’s melting,
my heart is breaking; all my bones disjointed,
my mouth is dry, my tongue is thick and swollen –
in death you lay me.

verses 16-18
Now come the wicked, who like dogs surround me;
My bones stick out; my hands and feet they’re piercing.
They stare and gloat; they share my clothes among them;
for them they gamble.

verses 19-22
Lord, don’t be far off! Quickly come to save me
from these wild lions, dogs who want to kill me!
Then I’ll proclaim your name to all my people:
with them I’ll praise you!

Music resources Vol 3- Psalm Settings: Psalm 22 p30 , Psalm 22 p32 , Psalm 22 p33 , Psalm 22 p34

While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms
by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.


Comments are closed.