Good Friday Worship Liturgy

Good Friday Worship Liturgy

**(Selected verses of Gospel John of the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.)

Meditative Hymn: When I survey

Call to Worship (Living Faith 7.3)

One: The church lives to praise God.

Many: We have no higher calling
than to offer the worship that belongs to God
day by day, Sunday by Sunday.

One: through the preaching of the Word
and the celebration of the Sacraments,
in praise, prayer, teaching and fellowship,
God sustains the life of the church.

Many: We worship God as Lord
offering ourselves in the service of Christ,
rejoicing that we have been brought from darkness to light.

One: Worship draws us into the work of Christ.

Many: Even now he intercedes for the world
to which he came and for which he died.

One: In union we him, the church prays
for the healing and the salvation of the world.

All: Blessing and honour and glory and power
be to our God for ever and ever!

(Living Faith Copyright © 1984 The Presbyterian Church in Canada Used by Permission)

Opening Hymn: Alas, and did my Saviour bleed

If you want to sing along and have difficulty reading words, simply click bottom right corner where blue box appears when the hymn starts and expand to the whole screen.

Opening Prayer

O God,
We know something of the true way of blessedness
Revealed and realized in Christ.
We see his suffering and death—
The path of love that led to the cross.
We see the reward of obedience
That led to a crown of thorns.
Forgive us when we have taken
Christ’s sacrifice lightly
Or failed to rejoice in our salvation.
Teach us to take our cross and to follow in faith.
May we share the Saviour’s sorrow for sin
And know the secret of his strength
Each day, and hour, and moment. Amen.
(From Invocations and Benedictions for the Revised Common Lectionary, compiled and edited by John M Drescher. Copyright © 1998 by Abingdon Press. Reprinted by permission.)

Scripture Reading: John 18:1-12

After Jesus had spoken these words, he 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, ‘For whom are you looking?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus replied, ‘I am he.’ 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, ‘For whom are you looking?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.’ 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, ‘Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’ So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.


Dear Lord,
Once we promised you everything—our hearts, our minds, our all.

Now our hearts are set on things that bring comfort, security and leisure;
our minds tinker with greater questions on how to save for future and how far to look into the universe;
and we are busy looking after ourselves in every possible way.

You are far from our minds.
We acknowledge you less and less;
We deny you when knowing you embarrasses us;
We search you out in secret only when we are desperate.

We are Judas who sold you over to enemies.
We are Peter who denied any relationship with you when accused.
We are the disciples who ran far away when you were bound and taken away.

Forgive us for

our unreliable faith;
our uncertain hope;
our untrustworthy love.


Scripture Reading: john 18:13-27

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, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing round 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, ‘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.’ When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?’ Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, ‘You are not also one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Anthem: O sacred head, sore wounded

Scripture Reading: John 18:28-19:16

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, ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’ They answered, ‘If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.’ The Jews replied, ‘We are not permitted to put anyone to death.’ (This was to fulfil 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, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘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.’ Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘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.’ Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, ‘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?’ They shouted in reply, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’ 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, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, ‘Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.’ So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!’ When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.’

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, ‘Where are you from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, ‘Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?’ Jesus answered him, ‘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.’ From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, ‘If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.’

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. He said to the Jews, ‘Here is your King!’ They cried out, ‘Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but the emperor.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.


O God whose love is steadfast and everlasting,
reveal to us your ways.

We, too, desire to be like you

when our friends betray us,
when our neighbours turn away from us,
when our enemies ridicule us.

Reveal to us your ways of love so that in times of need,

we will have faith in you to step up and help others,
we will have hope in you to build up and share with others,
we will have love of you to love others even unto death.

Shape us to stand with you

by standing with the weak and the meek,
by sharing with the hungry, thirsty and the poor,
by being in fellowship with the sick, the persecuted and the righteous.

Instill in us

the love to set our hearts on you,
the joy to live in the world with all, but not being of the world,
the peace to create the world filled with your love so that all may flourish,
the patience to fill the hearts of those who are struggling as patients, doctors, nurses and support staff with courage and strength to withstand the deathly grip of COVID19,
the kindness to build up neighbours around us in this time of social isolation and distancing,
the generosity to share your abundant gifts both spiritual and material with many who lost their jobs as well as who are going hungry and who have been caught in the cycles of poverty,
the faithfulness to witness and share your good news in words and deeds,
the gentleness to receive even the strangers as from you by providing fellowship and hospitality,
and the self-control to help our own selves to stay away from destructive and poisonous paths.

May we be beside you, be with you and in you as you stand before the priests who accuse you, before the crowd who shout at you, and before Pilate who condemns you to death.


Scripture Reading: John 19:17-19:24

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, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews”, but, “This man said, I am King of the Jews.” ’ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’ 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, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.’ This was to fulfil what the scripture says,

‘They divided my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.’

And that is what the soldiers did.

Hymn: Beneath the cross of Jesus

Scripture Reading: John 19:25-19:27

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, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Hymn: Were you there

1. Where you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

2. Where you there when they nailed him to the tree? Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

5. Where you there when they laid him in the tomb? Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
(Words: Public Domain)

Scripture Reading: John 19:28-19:37

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ 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, ‘It is finished.’ 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.’

Meditation: Always is? Always so?

Ever thus! Ever so!

Yet, in between two criminals,
watching his mother at a distance
He hangs on the cross, breathed his last.

Yet, in between another Mary, her sister and the beloved disciple,
at a distance from the cross
Mother watches the son giving up his last breath.

Did her eyes have any more tears left when she saw him hung to die?
Were her hands stretching out to her own son nailed to the cross,
Born of her own flesh,
Fed by her at her own breasts?
Was her heart bleeding like her son on the cross,
Torn and torn thousand times,
Life seeping out
Never to return?

Yet, among thousands like her,
Not knowing where her parents are,
A child whimpers softly being torn away from her mother in a detention center.

Yet, pushed into room full of migrants,
Not knowing where her children are,
A mother cries in silence begging to be with her own flesh and blood.

Yet, among so many like him,
Not knowing whether he is going to live or die,
A patient lies on a bed hooked up to a ventilator,
Surrounded by gowned strangers,
Gasping for breath.

Yet, with so many others
Covered in personal protection equipment, faceless and nameless,
A doctor/nurse/care-giver puts her-his all to save strangers whose name they do not know yet struggling for breath.

If ever there should be one,
Can this Jesus who hangs alone on the cross
Breathing his last breath,
Sit with that child,
Comfort that parent,
Know that patient,
Hold that doctor/nurse/care-giver?

If it is ever so,
God who is love,
Can this God be the very love to them, when alone, each one facing the powers of death?

For it is ever thus,
God who is the Truth,
Can this God hear all those cries and answer the tears of all those who are forced to be alone and give them everlasting hope?

If it is ever so,
God who is the Way,
Can this God point the way of healing to bring all those, who are alone, together as one?

If it is ever thus,
God who is the Life,
Can this God give life to all those, who cry alone, in this vast world full of people, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Hymn: Jesus, remember me


Let us go from here as Christ’s disciples,
denying ourselves,
taking up our cross.
And following our Lord in resurrection life.

(From Invocations and Benedictions for the Revised Common Lectionary, compiled and edited by John M Drescher. Copyright © 1998 by Abingdon Press. Reprinted by permission.)