Holy Week

Contents

Introduction to Holy Week

It is still uncertain when Christians first began to make an annual (as opposed to a weekly) memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ. This Pascha (a word derived indirectly from pesach, Hebrew ‘Passover’) was at first a night-long vigil, followed by the celebration of the Eucharist at cock-crow, and all the great themes of redemption were included within it: incarnation, suffering, death, resurrection, glorification. Over time, the Pascha developed into the articulated structure of Holy Week and Easter. Through participation in the whole sequence of services, the Christian shares in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the empty tomb on Easter morning. The procession with palms, which was already observed in Jerusalem in the fourth century, is accompanied by the reading or singing of the Passion Narrative, in which the whole story of the week is anticipated. Maundy Thursday (from mandatum, ‘commandment’, because of the use of John 13.34 in the Antiphon) contains a rich complex of themes: humble Christian service expressed through Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet, the institution of the Eucharist, the perfection of Christ’s loving obedience through the agony of Gethsemane.

After keeping vigil (‘Could you not watch with me one hour?’) Thursday passes into Good Friday with its two characteristic episodes. The veneration of the Cross is older; the sequence of meditations and music known as the Three Hours’ Devotion was introduced into the Church of England in the nineteenth century. The first is now sometimes incorporated into the structure of the second. It is a widespread custom for there not to be a celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday, but for the consecrated bread and wine remaining from the Maundy Thursday Eucharist to be given in communion. The church remains stripped of all decoration. It continues bare and empty through the following day, which is a day without a liturgy: there can be no adequate way of recalling the being dead of the Son of God, other than silence and desolation. But within the silence there grows a sense of peace and completion, and then rising excitement as the Easter Vigil draws near.

This ‘Week of Weeks’ preserves some of the oldest texts still in current use, and rehearses the deepest and most fundamental Christian memories. At the same time, the services and ceremonies of Holy Week have in the course of Christian history been the occasion of, or have actively encouraged, hostility towards the Jews. The ‘Ioudaioi’ of St John’s Gospel have all too easily been identified with ‘the Jews’ as a whole, or more specifically those Jews who were neighbours of a Christian church. This places a double responsibility on those who lead the keeping of Holy Week today: to be faithful to the act of collective memory, but also to be sensitive to the ways in which an unreflecting use of traditional texts (like the Reproaches) can perpetuate a strain of Christian anti-Semitism.

The Liturgy of Palm Sunday

Structure

    Commemoration of the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem

The Greeting

Introduction

Prayer over Palms or Branches

The Palm Gospel

The Procession

The Collect

    The Liturgy of the Word

Readings

The Passion Reading

Sermon

Prayers of Intercession

    The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

Preparation of the Table

Taking of the Bread and Wine

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Breaking of the Bread

Giving of Communion

Prayer after Communion

    The Dismissal

Notes
1  The Procession

Whenever possible, the congregation gathers in a place apart from the church to which the procession will go. When this is not possible, the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem takes place inside the church, at a convenient place, and the procession takes place inside or outside the church, all or some of the congregation taking part, as circumstances permit.

2  Palms

Palms or other branches may be used. The congregation may bring palms with them, or be given them as they arrive.

3  The Passion Reading

The Gospel of the Passion may be read or sung by three or more people (here).

The Liturgy of Palm Sunday

¶    Commemoration of the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem

When all are ready, one of these anthems may be said or sung

Hosanna to the Son of David, the King of Israel.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

(or)

All   Hosanna to the Son of David.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Behold your king comes to you, O Zion,

meek and lowly, sitting upon an ass.

Ride on in the cause of truth

and for the sake of justice.

Your throne is the throne of God, it endures for ever;

and the sceptre of your kingdom is a righteous sceptre.

You have loved righteousness and hated evil.

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

All   Hosanna to the Son of David.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

¶    The Gathering

At the entry of the ministers a hymn may be sung.

The president may say

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

All   Amen.

The Greeting

The president greets the people

Grace, mercy and peace

from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ

be with you

All   and also with you.

Introduction

The president introduces the celebration using these or other appropriate words

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, during Lent we have been preparing by works of love and self-sacrifice for the celebration of our Lord’s death and resurrection. Today we come together to begin this solemn celebration in union with the Church throughout the world. Christ enters his own city to complete his work as our Saviour, to suffer, to die, and to rise again. Let us go with him in faith and love, so that, united with him in his sufferings, we may share his risen life.

The people hold up palms or branches while this prayer is said by the president

God our Saviour,

whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer

and to die;

let these palms be for us signs of his victory

and grant that we who bear them in his name

may ever hail him as our King,

and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The Palm Gospel
Year A

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

Matthew 21.1-11

When Jesus and his disciples had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

‘Tell the daughter of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

   and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking,

‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from

Nazareth in Galilee.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All   Praise to you, O Christ.

Year B

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

Mark 11.1-11

When Jesus and his disciples were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.”’ They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All   Praise to you, O Christ.

(or)

Year B

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

John 12.12-16

The great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,

‘Hosanna!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord –

the King of Israel!’

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:

‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.

Look, your king is coming,

sitting on a donkey’s colt!’

His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus

was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been

written of him and had been done to him.

After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All   Praise to you, O Christ.

Year C

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

Luke 19.28-40

When Jesus had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” just say this: “The Lord needs it.”’ So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ They said, ‘The Lord needs it.’ Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,

‘Blessed is the king

who comes in the name of the Lord!

Peace in heaven,

and glory in the highest heaven!’

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All   Praise to you, O Christ.

The Procession

Let us go forth, praising Jesus our Messiah.

During the procession all hold palms or branches, and appropriate hymns, psalms, or anthems are sung.

The Collect

After the procession, when all are in their places, the president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words

Let us pray for a closer union with Christ in his suffering and in his glory.

Silence is kept.

Almighty and everlasting God,

who in your tender love towards the human race

sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

to take upon him our flesh

and to suffer death upon the cross:

grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,

and also be made partakers of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

True and humble king,

hailed by the crowd as Messiah:

grant us the faith to know you and love you,

that we may be found beside you

on the way of the cross,

which is the path of glory.

All   Amen.

¶    The Liturgy of the Word

Readings

Either one or two readings from Scripture precede the Gospel reading.

At the end of each the reader may say

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

The psalm or canticle follows the first reading; other hymns and songs may be used between the readings.

The Passion Reading

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Christ humbled himself and became obedient unto death,

even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him

and given him the name that is above every name.

All   Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

For the Passion Gospels, see here.

When the Passion is announced the reader says

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.

At the end

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

Sermon

Silence may be kept.

Prayers of Intercession

This form or other suitable words may be used

[We stand with Christ in his suffering.]

For forgiveness for the many times we have denied Jesus,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

For grace to seek out those habits of sin which mean

spiritual death,

and by prayer and self-discipline to overcome them,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

For Christian people,

that through the suffering of disunity

there may grow a rich union in Christ,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

For those who make laws, interpret them, and administer them,

that our common life may be ordered in justice and mercy,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

For those who still make Jerusalem a battleground,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

For those who have the courage and honesty to work openly for

justice and peace,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

For those in the darkness and agony of isolation,

that they may find support and encouragement,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

For those who, weighed down with hardship, failure, or sorrow,

feel that God is far from them,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

For those who are tempted to give up the way of the cross,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

That we, with those who have died in faith,

may find mercy in the day of Christ,

let us pray to the Lord.

All   Lord, have mercy.

The Trisagion may be used

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

Once we were far off,

but now in union with Christ Jesus we have been brought near

through the shedding of Christ’s blood,

for he is our peace.

Ephesians 2.13,14

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All   and also with you.

These words may be added

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

All may exchange a sign of peace.

Preparation of the Table
Taking of the Bread and Wine

A hymn may be sung.

The gifts of the people may be gathered and presented.

The table is prepared and bread and wine are placed upon it.

At the preparation of the table this prayer may be said

Jesus, true vine and bread of life,

ever giving yourself that the world might live,

let us share your death and passion:

make us perfect in your love.

All   Amen.

The president takes the bread and wine.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The president uses one of the authorized Eucharistic Prayers (here). For music, see here.

One of the following Proper Prefaces may be used where appropriate. For music, see here.

It is indeed right and just,

our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

holy Father, almighty and eternal God,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For as the time of his passion and resurrection draws near

the whole world is called to acknowledge his hidden majesty.

The power of the life-giving cross

reveals the judgement that has come upon the world

and the triumph of Christ crucified.

He is the victim who dies no more,

the Lamb once slain, who lives for ever,

our advocate in heaven to plead our cause,

exalting us there to join with angels and archangels,

for ever praising you and saying:

(or)

And now we give you thanks

because, for our salvation,

he was obedient even to death on the cross.

The tree of shame was made the tree of glory;

and where life was lost, there life has been restored.

The Lord’s Prayer

Standing at the foot of the cross,

as our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Standing at the foot of the cross,

let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All   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.

Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

The president breaks the consecrated bread.

Every time we eat this bread

and drink this cup,

All   we proclaim the Lord’s death

until he comes.

The Agnus Dei may be used as the bread is broken

All   Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

grant us peace.

(or)

All   Jesus, Lamb of God,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

The president says

Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

(or)

Jesus is the Lamb of God

who takes away the sin of the world.

Blessed are those who are called to his supper.

All   Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,

but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

The president and people receive communion.

Authorized words of distribution are used and the communicant replies

Amen.

During the distribution hymns and anthems may be sung.

The Common Worship provision is followed for consecration of additional bread and wine and for disposing of what remains (here and here).

Prayer after Communion

Silence is kept.

The Post Communion or another suitable prayer is said

Lord Jesus Christ,

you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant,

and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:

give us the mind to follow you

and to proclaim you as Lord and King,

to the glory of God the Father.

All   Amen.

All may say

All   Faithful God,

may we who share this banquet

glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,

our salvation, life and hope,

who reigns as Lord now and for ever.

Amen.

¶    The Dismissal

A hymn may be sung.

The Blessing

The president may use this seasonal blessing, or another suitable blessing

May the Father,

who so loved the world that he gave his only Son,

bring you by faith to his eternal life.

All   Amen.

May Christ,

who accepted the cup of sacrifice

in obedience to the Father’s will,

keep you steadfast as you walk with him the way of his cross.

All   Amen.

May the Spirit,

who strengthens us to suffer with Christ

that we may share his glory,

set your minds on life and peace.

All   Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

The Dismissal

A minister dismisses the people.

These words may be used

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All   In the name of Christ. Amen.

(or)

Go in the peace of Christ.

All   Thanks be to God.

The ministers and people depart.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week

Invitations to Confession

God shows his love for us

in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Let us then show our love for him

by confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

cf Romans 5.8

(or)

Christ himself carried up our sins in his body to the tree,

so that, free from sins,

we might live for righteousness;

by his wounds we have been healed.

Let us confess our sins.

1 Peter 2.24

Kyrie Confession

O God, you know my foolishness

and my sins are not hidden from you:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Let not the flood overwhelm me

nor the depths swallow me up;

let not the pit shut its mouth upon me:

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Hear me, O Lord, as your loving kindness is good;

turn to me as your compassion is great:

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Collects

Almighty and everlasting God,

who in your tender love towards the human race

sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

to take upon him our flesh

and to suffer death upon the cross:

grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,

and also be made partakers of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

True and humble king,

hailed by the crowd as Messiah:

grant us the faith to know you and love you,

that we may be found beside you

on the way of the cross,

which is the path of glory.

All   Amen.

Gospel Acclamation

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Christ humbled himself and became obedient unto death,

even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him

and given him the name that is above every name.

Philippians 2.8,9

All   Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Introductions to the Peace

Once we were far off,

but now in union with Christ Jesus we have been brought near

through the shedding of Christ’s blood,

for he is our peace.

Ephesians 2.13,14

(or)

Christ is our peace.

He has reconciled us to God

in one body by the cross.

We meet in his name and share his peace.

Prayer at the Preparation of the Table

Jesus, true vine and bread of life,

ever giving yourself that the world might live,

let us share your death and passion:

make us perfect in your love.

All   Amen.

Short Prefaces

For music, see here and here.

And now we give you thanks

because, for our salvation,

he was obedient even to death on the cross.

The tree of shame was made the tree of glory;

and where life was lost, there life has been restored.

(or)

And now we give you thanks

because for our sins he was lifted high upon the cross,

that he might draw the whole world to himself;

and, by his suffering and death,

became the source of eternal salvation

for all who put their trust in him.

Extended Preface

For music, see here.

It is indeed right and just,

our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

holy Father, almighty and eternal God,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For as the time of his passion and resurrection draws near

the whole world is called to acknowledge his hidden majesty.

The power of the life-giving cross

reveals the judgement that has come upon the world

and the triumph of Christ crucified.

He is the victim who dies no more,

the Lamb once slain, who lives for ever,

our advocate in heaven to plead our cause,

exalting us there to join with angels and archangels,

for ever praising you and saying:

Post Communion

Lord Jesus Christ,

you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant,

and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:

give us the mind to follow you

and to proclaim you as Lord and King,

to the glory of God the Father.

All   Amen.

Simple Blessing

Christ crucified draw you to himself,

to find in him a sure ground for faith,

a firm support for hope,

and the assurance of sins forgiven;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

Solemn Blessing

May the Father,

who so loved the world that he gave his only Son,

bring you by faith to his eternal life.

All   Amen.

May Christ,

who accepted the cup of sacrifice

in obedience to the Father’s will,

keep you steadfast as you walk with him the way of his cross.

All   Amen.

May the Spirit,

who strengthens us to suffer with Christ

that we may share his glory,

set your minds on life and peace.

All   Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All   Amen.

Short Passages of Scripture

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

Lamentations 1.12

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,

it remains just a single grain;

but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 12.24

May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus

Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to

the world.

Galatians 6.14

The Reception of Holy Oils during the Liturgy of Maundy Thursday

Notes
1  Blessing of the oils

The oils are blessed by the bishop at a diocesan celebration at some convenient time during Holy Week between Palm Sunday and the beginning of the Triduum. Resources for this service are provided in Common Worship: Times and Seasons (pages 278-291).

2  Reception of the oils

The oils may be received into the parish at the beginning of the Liturgy of Maundy Thursday.

The oils may be carried by three ministers in the entrance procession.

After the Greeting (here), the ministers may present the oils and the president may speak briefly of their significance in the life of the Church. Sample texts are provided below.

President   Brothers and sisters, on this most holy night we enter into the three days of the celebration of our Lord’s paschal victory, his death and resurrection. Those of our community who are to be baptized this Eastertide will be made one with Christ, dying to sin and rising to newness of life in him. As we begin, therefore, we receive from our bishop N, the holy oils blessed and set apart for the sacramental life of our parish.

Minister   The oil of the sick.

President   By the laying on of hands and anointing with this oil,

and with the prayerful support of this community,

may those who are sick experience the healing presence of Christ.

All   Amen.

Minister   The oil of baptism.

President   Anointed with this oil,

and assisted by the example of this community,

may those who are to be baptized

know that Christ calls them by name

and makes them his own

and shares with them his victory over sin and the power of evil.

All   Amen.

Minister   The oil of chrism.

President   Anointed with this fragrant oil,

may all who are baptized and confirmed,

all who are ordained to the service of God’s people,

and this community whose house of prayer is dedicated to God’s glory,

fill the world with the sweet fragrance of Christ’s gospel

and be built up as living stones into a temple filled with the Holy Spirit.

All   Amen.

The oils are taken to the place set apart for their reservation.

The liturgy continues with the Prayers of Penitence (here).

The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday

Structure

    The Gathering

The Greeting

[The Reception of Holy Oils]

Prayers of Penitence

Gloria in Excelsis

The Collect

    The Liturgy of the Word

Readings

Gospel Reading

Sermon

The Washing of Feet

Prayers of Intercession

    The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

Preparation of the Table

Taking of the Bread and Wine

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Breaking of the Bread

Giving of Communion

Prayer after Communion

    The Conclusion

The Stripping of the Sanctuary

The Watch or The Dismissal

Notes
1  The Words of Institution

In the Eucharistic Prayer, the president may insert after the words ‘in the same night that he was betrayed’ (or the equivalent words) the phrase ‘that is, this very night’.

2  Crosses

If for this service it is the custom for the cross on the holy table and the processional cross to be covered, they should be veiled in plain white linen.

The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday

¶    The Gathering

At the entry of the ministers a hymn may be sung.

The president may say

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

All   Amen.

The Greeting

The president greets the people

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with you

All   and also with you.

Words of welcome or introduction may be said.

The Reception of Holy Oils

The oils may be received (see here).

Prayers of Penitence

A minister uses this Invitation to Confession or other suitable words

Our Lord Jesus Christ says:

‘If you love me, keep my commandments.’

‘Unless I wash you, you have no part in me.’

Let us confess to almighty God our sins against his love,

and ask him to cleanse us.

Silence is kept.

Have mercy on us, O God,

in your great goodness;

according to the abundance of your compassion

blot out our offences.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Against you only have we sinned

and done what is evil in your sight.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Purge us from our sin and we shall be clean;

wash us and we shall be whiter than snow.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Or another authorized form of confession may be used.

The president uses this or another authorized absolution

May the Father forgive us

by the death of his Son

and strengthen us

to live in the power of the Spirit

all our days.

All   Amen.

If a Kyrie Confession has not been said, the following may be used here or before the absolution

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

(or)

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Gloria in Excelsis

All   Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect

The president introduces a period of silent prayer with the words

Let us pray that we may love one another as Christ has loved us.

Silence is kept.

God our Father,

you have invited us to share in the supper

which your Son gave to his Church

to proclaim his death until he comes:

may he nourish us by his presence,

and unite us in his love;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

God our Father,

your Son Jesus Christ was obedient to the end

and drank the cup prepared for him:

may we who share his table

watch with him through the night of suffering

and be faithful.

All   Amen.

¶    The Liturgy of the Word

Readings

Either one or two readings from Scripture precede the Gospel reading.

At the end of each the reader may say

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

The psalm or canticle follows the first reading; other hymns and songs may be used between the readings.

Gospel Reading

This acclamation may herald the Gospel reading

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:

Love one another as I have loved you.

All   Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

When the Gospel is announced the reader says

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

John 13.1-17, 31b-35

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All   Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon
The Washing of Feet

The president may wash the feet of some members of the congregation.

The anthem ‘Ubi Caritas’ in this or another translation, a hymn, an anthem or a psalm may be sung during the washing of feet.

God is love, and where true love is, God himself is there.

Here in Christ we gather, love of Christ our calling;

Christ, our love, is with us, gladness be his greeting;

let us all revere and love him, God eternal.

Loving him, let each love Christ in all his brothers.

God is love,…

When we Christians gather, members of one Body,

let there be in us no discord, but one spirit;

banished now be anger, strife and every quarrel.

Christ our God be present always here among us.

God is love,…

Grant us love’s fulfilment, joy with all the blessed

when we see your face, O Saviour, in its glory;

shine on us, O purest Light of all creation,

be our bliss while endless ages sing your praises.

God is love,…

James Quinn SJ

The washing of feet may end with this prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,

you have taught us

that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters

we do also for you:

give us the will to be the servant of others

as you were the servant of all,

and gave up your life and died for us,

but are alive and reign, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

This form or other suitable words may be used.

Silence may be kept before each versicle and response.

In the power of the Spirit let us pray to the Father

through Christ the saviour of the world.

Father,

on this, the night he was betrayed,

your Son Jesus Christ washed his disciples’ feet.

We commit ourselves to follow his example of love and service.

Lord, hear us

All   and humble us.

On this night, he prayed for his disciples to be one.

We pray for the unity of your Church.

Lord, hear us

All   and unite us.

On this night, he prayed for those who were to believe through

his disciples’ message.

We pray for the mission of your Church.

Lord, hear us

All   and renew our zeal.

On this night, he commanded his disciples to love,

but suffered rejection himself.

We pray for the rejected and unloved.

Lord, hear us

All   and fill us with your love.

On this night, he reminded his disciples

that if the world hated them it hated him first.

We pray for those who are persecuted for their faith.

Lord, hear us

All   and give us your peace.

On this night, he accepted the cup of death

and looked forward to the new wine of the kingdom.

We remember those who have died in the peace of Christ.

Lord, hear us

All   and welcome all your children into paradise.

¶    The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Peace

Jesus says:‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.’

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All   and also with you.

These words may be added

Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

All may exchange a sign of peace.

Preparation of the Table
Taking of the Bread and Wine

A hymn may be sung.

The gifts of the people may be gathered and presented.

The table is prepared and bread and wine are placed upon it.

These words may be used at the preparation of the table

At the eucharist we are with our crucified and risen Lord.

We know that it was not only our ancestors,

but we who were redeemed

and brought forth from bondage to freedom,

from mourning to feasting.

We know that as he was with them in the upper room

so our Lord is here with us now.

All   Until the kingdom of God comes

let us celebrate this feast.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of the universe,

you bring forth bread from the earth.

All   Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of the universe,

you create the fruit of the vine.

All   Blessed be God for ever.

The president takes the bread and wine.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The president uses one of the authorized Eucharistic Prayers (here). For music, see here.

One of the following Proper Prefaces may be used where appropriate. For music, see here.

It is indeed right to give you thanks,

Father most holy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For on this night he girded himself with a towel

and, taking the form of a servant,

washed the feet of his disciples.

He gave us a new commandment

that we should love one another as he has loved us.

Knowing that his hour had come,

in his great love he gave this supper to his disciples

to be a memorial of his passion,

that we might proclaim his death until he comes again,

and feast with him in his kingdom.

Therefore earth unites with heaven

to sing a new song of praise;

we too join with angels and archangels

as they proclaim your glory without end:

(or)

And now we give you thanks

because, having loved his own who were in the world,

he loved them to the end;

and on the night before he suffered,

sitting at table with his disciples,

he instituted these holy mysteries,

that we, redeemed by his death

and restored to life by his resurrection,

might be partakers of his divine nature.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All   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.

Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

The president breaks the consecrated bread.

Every time we eat this bread

and drink this cup,

All   we proclaim the Lord’s death

until he comes.

The Agnus Dei may be used as the bread is broken

All   Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

grant us peace.

(or)

All   Jesus, Lamb of God,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

The president says one of these invitations to communion

Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

(or)

Jesus is the Lamb of God

who takes away the sin of the world.

Blessed are those who are called to his supper.

All   Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,

but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

The prayer ‘Most merciful Lord’ (here) may be used.

The president and people receive communion.

The following or other authorized words of distribution are used

The body of Christ, broken for you.

Amen.

The blood of Christ, shed for you.

Amen.

During the distribution hymns and anthems may be sung.

The Common Worship provision is followed for consecration of additional bread and wine and for disposing of what remains (here and here).

Prayer after Communion

Silence is kept.

This Post Communion or another suitable prayer is said

Lord Jesus Christ,

we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament

you have given us the memorial of your passion:

grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries

of your body and blood

that we may know within ourselves

and show forth in our lives

the fruit of your redemption,

for you are alive and reign, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

¶    The Conclusion

The Stripping of the Sanctuary

The holy table and the sanctuary may be stripped bare. During the stripping, Psalm 22 (here), Psalm 88 (here), or another psalm, or these or other verses from Lamentations may be used

How lonely sits the city that once was full of people!

How like a widow she has become,

she that was great among the nations!

She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks;

among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her.

All   Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.

The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to the festivals;

all her gates are desolate, her priests groan;

her young girls grieve, and her lot is bitter.

Her children have gone away, captives before the foe.

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

All   Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.

From on high he sent fire; it went deep into my bones;

he spread a net for my feet; he turned me back;

he has left me stunned, faint all day long.

For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears;

for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my courage;

my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed.

All   Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.

All who pass along the way clap their hands at you;

they hiss and wag their heads at daughter Jerusalem;

‘Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty,

the joy of all the earth?’

The thought of my affliction and homelessness is wormwood and gall.

All   Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,

‘therefore I will hope in him.’

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.

All   Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.

It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth,

to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it,

to put one’s mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope),

to give one’s cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults.

For the Lord will not reject for ever.

All   Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.

Psalm 22

1    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,  

and are so far from my salvation,

from the words of my distress?

2    O my God, I cry in the daytime,

but you do not answer;  

and by night also, but I find no rest.

3    Yet you are the Holy One,  

enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

4    Our forebears trusted in you;  

they trusted, and you delivered them.

5    They cried out to you and were delivered;  

they put their trust in you and were not confounded.

6    But as for me, I am a worm and no man,  

scorned by all and despised by the people.

7    All who see me laugh me to scorn;  

they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,

8    ‘He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him;  

let him deliver him, if he delights in him.’

9    But it is you that took me out of the womb  

and laid me safe upon my mother’s breast.

10  On you was I cast ever since I was born;  

you are my God even from my mother’s womb.

11  Be not far from me, for trouble is near at hand  

and there is none to help.

12  Mighty oxen come around me;  

fat bulls of Bashan close me in on every side.

13  They gape upon me with their mouths,  

as it were a ramping and a roaring lion.

14  I am poured out like water;

all my bones are out of joint;  

my heart has become like wax

melting in the depths of my body.

15  My mouth is dried up like a potsherd;

my tongue cleaves to my gums;  

you have laid me in the dust of death.

16  For the hounds are all about me,

the pack of evildoers close in on me;  

they pierce my hands and my feet.

17  I can count all my bones;  

they stand staring and looking upon me.

18  They divide my garments among them;  

they cast lots for my clothing.

19  Be not far from me, O Lord;  

you are my strength; hasten to help me.

20  Deliver my soul from the sword,  

my poor life from the power of the dog.

21  Save me from the lion’s mouth,

from the horns of wild oxen.  

You have answered me!

22  I will tell of your name to my people;  

in the midst of the congregation will I praise you.

23  Praise the Lord, you that fear him;  

O seed of Jacob, glorify him;

stand in awe of him, O seed of Israel.

24  For he has not despised nor abhorred the suffering of the poor;

neither has he hidden his face from them;  

but when they cried to him he heard them.

25  From you comes my praise in the great congregation;  

I will perform my vows

in the presence of those that fear you.

26  The poor shall eat and be satisfied;  

those who seek the Lord shall praise him;

their hearts shall live for ever.

27  All the ends of the earth

shall remember and turn to the Lord,  

and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

28  For the kingdom is the Lord’s  

and he rules over the nations.

29  How can those who sleep in the earth

bow down in worship,  

or those who go down to the dust kneel before him?

30  He has saved my life for himself;

my descendants shall serve him;  

this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.

31  They shall come and make known his salvation,

to a people yet unborn,  

declaring that he, the Lord, has done it.

Psalm 88

1    O Lord, God of my salvation,  

I have cried day and night before you.

2    Let my prayer come into your presence;  

incline your ear to my cry.

3    For my soul is full of troubles;  

my life draws near to the land of death.

4    I am counted as one gone down to the Pit;  

I am like one that has no strength,

5    Lost among the dead,  

like the slain who lie in the grave,

6    Whom you remember no more,  

for they are cut off from your hand.

7    You have laid me in the lowest pit,  

in a place of darkness in the abyss.

8    Your anger lies heavy upon me,  

and you have afflicted me with all your waves.

9    You have put my friends far from me  

and made me to be abhorred by them.

10  I am so fast in prison that I cannot get free;  

my eyes fail from all my trouble.

11  Lord, I have called daily upon you;  

I have stretched out my hands to you.

12  Do you work wonders for the dead?  

Will the shades stand up and praise you?

13  Shall your loving-kindness be declared in the grave,  

your faithfulness in the land of destruction?

14  Shall your wonders be known in the dark  

or your righteous deeds in the land where all is forgotten?

15  But as for me, O Lord, I will cry to you;  

early in the morning my prayer shall come before you.

16  Lord, why have you rejected my soul?  

Why have you hidden your face from me?

17  I have been wretched and at the point of death from my youth;  

I suffer your terrors and am no more seen.

18  Your wrath sweeps over me;  

your horrors are come to destroy me;

19  All day long they come about me like water;  

they close me in on every side.

20  Lover and friend have you put far from me  

and hid my companions out of my sight.

Either

The Watch

A Watch may be kept.

If the Watch is to be kept there may be a procession and a hymn or psalm may be sung. The following readings may be used. Silences, introduced by biddings, may follow the readings.

John 13.16-30

Psalm 113

John 13.31-end

Psalm 114

John 14.1-14

Psalm 115

John 14.15-end

Psalm 116.1-9

John 15.1-17

Psalm 116.10-end

John 15.18–16.4a

Psalm 117

John 16.4b-15

Psalm 118.1-9

John 16.16-end

Psalm 118.10-18

John 17.1-19

Psalm 118.19-end

John 17.20-end

Then may follow Psalm 54 and the Gospel of the Watch, or the Gospel of the Watch is read without ceremony, followed by silence.

Year ALuke 22.31-62

Year BMatthew 26.30-end

Year CMark 14.26-end

Or

The Dismissal

If the Watch is not kept, the dismissal is said. This form may be used

When the disciples had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus prayed to the Father,‘If it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me.’ He said to his disciples,‘How is it that you were not able to keep watch with me for one hour? The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinners.’

Christ was obedient unto death. Go in his peace.

The ministers and people depart.

The Liturgy of Good Friday

Structure

    The Gathering

The Collect

    The Liturgy of the Word

Old Testament Reading

Psalm 22

New Testament Reading

The Passion Reading

    The Proclamation of the Cross

    The Prayers of Intercession

    The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The Lord’s Prayer

Giving of Communion

Prayer after Communion

    The Conclusion

Notes
1  Silence

Silence is a significant part of the observance of Good Friday, and silence at the points indicated is integral to the service. It is appropriate for the organ to be used only to accompany singing.

2  The Passion Reading

The Gospel of the Passion may be read or sung by three or more people.

3  The Reproaches

The Reproaches are not printed here in their traditional form. Where it is desired to use the traditional form, because (for example) the text is being sung to a well-known setting like that of Victoria or Sanders, it is important to remember that Jesus’ words are to be understood as applying to the present Church, rather than to his own contemporaries. Here,‘Israel’ and ‘my people’ stand for the Church, and we are to hear the Reproaches as directed to our own hardness of heart and failure of discipleship.

4  Liturgical Colour

It is traditional for the holy table to be completely bare until covered by a fair linen cloth for the Liturgy of the Sacrament. Other hangings are removed. The liturgical colour is red.

The Liturgy of Good Friday

¶    The Gathering

The ministers enter in silence.

All may kneel for a time of silent prayer.

The Collect

All stand and the president says the Collect

Almighty Father,

look with mercy on this your family

for which our Lord Jesus Christ was content to be betrayed

and given up into the hands of sinners

and to suffer death upon the cross;

who is alive and glorified with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

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.

All   Amen.

¶    The Liturgy of the Word

Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 52.13–end of 53

At the end the reader may say

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

Silence is kept.

Psalm

Psalm 22 or Psalm 22.1-11[12-21] (here)

New Testament Reading

Hebrews 10.16-25 or 4.14-16; 5.7-9

At the end the reader may say

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

Silence is kept.

A canticle or hymn may be used.

The Passion Reading

For the Passion Gospel, see here and here.

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

John 18.1–end of 19

At the end

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

Silence is kept.

Sermon

¶    The Proclamation of the Cross

The Proclamation of the Cross may occur after the Prayers of Intercession.

A wooden cross may be brought into the church and placed in the sight of the people.

As the cross is carried in, the procession may stop three times and one of the following versicles and responses may be said or sung

The cross of Christ.

All   The cross on which the Saviour of the world was hung.

(or)

This is the wood of the cross,

on which hung the Saviour of the world.

All   Come, let us worship.

One of the following chants may be used – if desired, at a higher pitch each time

Appropriate devotions may follow, which may include any or all of the following or other suitable anthems. Traditionally the hymn ‘Faithful Cross’ (‘Crux Fidelis’) is also sung.

Anthem 1

Version 1

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 draw 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.

Version 2

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

I am your Creator, Lord of the universe;

I have entrusted this world to you,

but you have created the means to destroy it.

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

I made you in my image,

but you have degraded body and spirit

and marred the image of your God.

You have deserted me and turned your backs on me.

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

I filled the earth with all that you need,

so that you might serve and care for one another,

as I have cared for you;

but you have cared only to serve your own wealth and power.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

I made my children of one blood

to live in families rejoicing in one another;

but you have embittered the races and divided the nations.

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

I commanded you to love your neighbour as yourself,

to love and forgive even your enemies;

but you have made vengeance your rule and hate your guide.

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

In the fullness of time I sent you my Son,

that in him you might know me,

and through him find life and peace;

but you put him to death on the cross.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

Through the living Christ, I called you into my Church

to be my servants to the world,

but you have grasped at privilege and forgotten my will.

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

I have given you a heavenly gift and a share in the Holy Spirit;

I have given you the spiritual energies of the age to come;

but you have turned away

and crucified the Son of God afresh.

My people, what wrong have I done to you?

What good have I not done for you?

Listen to me.

I have consecrated you in the truth;

I have made you to be one

in the unity of the Father and the Son,

by the power of the Spirit;

but you have divided my Church and shrouded my truth.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

Turn again, my people, listen to me.

Let your bearing to one another arise out of your life in Christ Jesus.

He humbled himself

and in obedience accepted the death of the cross.

But I have bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow

and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Turn again, my people, listen to me.

All   Father, hear our prayer and forgive us.

Unstop our ears,

that we may receive the gospel of the cross.

Lighten our eyes,

that we may see your glory in the face of your Son.

Penetrate our minds,

that your truth may make us whole.

Irradiate our hearts with your love,

that we may love one another for Christ’s sake.

Father, forgive us.

Anthem 2

You are worthy, O Lamb, for you were slain,

and by your blood you ransomed for God

saints from every tribe and language and nation;

you have made them to be a kingdom and priests

serving our God.

All   We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

To him who loves us

and has freed us from our sins by his blood,

and made us a kingdom of priests

to stand and serve before our God;

All   to him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb

be praise and honour, glory and might,

for ever and ever. Amen.

Anthem 3

All   We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Christ was manifested in the body,

vindicated in the spirit,

seen by angels,

proclaimed among the nations,

believed in throughout the world,

glorified in high heaven.

All   We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Anthem 4

All   We glory in your cross, O Lord,

and praise you for your mighty resurrection;

for by virtue of your cross

joy has come into our world.

God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face to shine upon us,

that your way may be known upon earth,

your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

O let the nations rejoice and be glad,

for you will judge the peoples righteously

and govern the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

Then shall the earth bring forth her increase,

and God, our own God, will bless us.

God will bless us,

and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

Psalm 67

All   We glory in your cross, O Lord,

and praise you for your mighty resurrection;

for by virtue of your cross

joy has come into our world.

Acclamations

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   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.

All   Come, let us worship.

O Saviour of the world,

who by your cross and precious blood have redeemed us,

All   save us and help us, we humbly pray.

¶    The Prayers of Intercession

This form or other suitable words may be used.

The president introduces the prayers

God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world,

but that the world might be saved through him.

Therefore we pray to our heavenly Father

for people everywhere according to their needs.

A minister continues with these biddings, the president saying the Collect at the end of each section.

Minister   Let us pray for the Church of God throughout the world:

for unity in faith, in witness and in service,

for bishops and other ministers, and those whom they serve,

for N, our bishop, and the people of this diocese,

for all Christians in this place,

for those to be baptized,

for those who are mocked and persecuted for their faith,

that God will confirm his Church in faith,

increase it in love, and preserve it in peace.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

President   Almighty and everlasting God,

by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church

is governed and sanctified:

hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,

that in their vocation and ministry

they may serve you in holiness and truth

to the glory of your name;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

Minister   Let us pray for the nations of the world and their leaders:

for Elizabeth our Queen and the Parliaments of this land,

for those who administer the law and all who serve in public office,

for all who strive for justice and reconciliation,

that by God’s help the world may live in peace and freedom.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

President   Most gracious God and Father,

in whose will is our peace,

turn our hearts and the hearts of all to yourself,

that by the power of your Spirit

the peace which is founded on justice

may be established throughout the world;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Minister   Let us pray for God’s ancient people, the Jews,

the first to hear his word:

for greater understanding between Christian and Jew,

for the removal of our blindness and bitterness of heart,

that God will grant us grace to be faithful to his covenant

and to grow in the love of his name.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

President   Lord God of Abraham,

bless the children of your covenant, both Jew and Christian;

take from us all blindness and bitterness of heart,

and hasten the coming of your kingdom,

when the Gentiles shall be gathered in,

all Israel shall be saved,

and we shall dwell together in mutual love and peace

under the one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All   Amen.

Minister   Let us pray for those who do not believe the gospel of Christ:

for those who have not heard the message of salvation,

for all who have lost faith,

for the contemptuous and scornful,

for those who are enemies of Christ and persecute those who follow him,

for all who deny the faith of Christ crucified,

that God will open their hearts to the truth and lead them to faith and obedience.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

President   Merciful God,

creator of all the people of the earth,

have compassion on all who do not know you,

and by the preaching of your gospel with grace and power,

gather them into the one fold of the one Shepherd;

Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Minister   Let us pray for all those who suffer:

for those who are deprived and oppressed,

for all who are sick,

for those in darkness, in doubt and in despair, in loneliness and in fear,

for prisoners, captives and refugees,

for the victims of false accusations and violence,

for all at the point of death and those who watch beside them,

that God in his mercy will sustain them

with the knowledge of his love.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

President   Almighty and everlasting God,

the comfort of the sad, the strength of those who suffer:

hear the prayers of your children who cry out of any trouble,

and to every distressed soul grant mercy, relief and refreshment,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All   Amen.

Minister   Let us commend ourselves and all God’s children to his unfailing love,

and pray for the grace of a holy life,

that, with all who have died in the peace of Christ,

we may come to the fullness of eternal life

and the joy of the resurrection.

Silence is kept.

Lord, hear us.

All   Lord, graciously hear us.

President   O God of unchangeable power and eternal light,

look favourably on your whole Church,

that wonderful and sacred mystery,

and by the tranquil operation of your perpetual providence

carry out the work of our salvation:

and let the whole world feel and see

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 returning to perfection

through him from whom they took their origin,

even Jesus Christ our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

If there is no Liturgy of the Sacrament, the Lord’s Prayer is said and the service continues with the Conclusion (here).

¶    The Liturgy of the Sacrament

If communion is to be distributed, the holy table is covered with a fair linen cloth and the consecrated elements are placed on it in silence.

The Lord’s Prayer

Standing at the foot of the cross,

as our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

(or)

Stranding at the foot of the cross,

let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

All   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.

Amen.

Giving of Communion

The president says one of these invitations to communion

Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

(or)

Jesus is the Lamb of God

who takes away the sin of the world.

Blessed are those who are called to his supper.

All   Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,

but only say the word, and I shall be healed.

The president and people receive communion.

The following or other authorized words of distribution are used

The body of Christ, broken for you.

Amen.

The blood of Christ, shed for you.

Amen.

During the distribution hymns and anthems may be sung.

Any consecrated bread and wine which is not required for purposes of communion is consumed at the end of the distribution or after the service.

¶    The Conclusion

Silence is kept.

The service may conclude with one of the following prayers without a blessing or dismissal

O Lord Jesus Christ,

Son of the living God,

set your passion, cross and death

between your judgement and our souls,

now and in the hour of our death.

Grant mercy and grace to the living,

rest to the departed,

to your Church peace and concord

and to us sinners forgiveness,

and everlasting life and glory;

for, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

you are alive and reign,

God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

(or)

Most merciful God,

who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ

delivered and saved the world:

grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross

we may triumph in the power of his victory;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

Whether there has been a Liturgy of the Sacrament or not, after the concluding prayer the Gospel of the Burial of Christ (John 19.38-42) may be read and the wooden cross used in the Proclamation of the Cross may be carried out. If this conclusion is used, the Passion Reading earlier in the service should end at John 19.37.

The ministers and people depart in silence.

The Passion Gospels

Contents

Introduction

The Passion Narratives in Continuous Form

Palm Sunday

Good Friday

The Passion Narratives in Dramatic Form

Introduction

Palm Sunday

Good Friday

Introduction

The Passion narratives may be encountered within worship in a variety of ways: proclaimed by a single voice, read as a meditation, or presented as a drama. Here the text is set out both for continuous reading and for dramatic reading by a number of voices, following a liturgical custom that has been present in northern Europe since the tenth century. The texts printed here are the Common Worship Lectionary provision for Palm Sunday and Good Friday. They follow the New Revised Standard Version (anglicized edition).

Use of the Passion narratives in Holy Week

The accounts of Jesus’ Passion are at the heart of the Gospel tradition; indeed, the four Gospels themselves have often been described as ‘passion narratives with an extended introduction’. The reading or singing of the Passion narrative is similarly at the heart of the liturgical celebration of Holy Week. It was already an important element in the observance of Good Friday in Jerusalem by the end of the fourth century; by the Middle Ages in the west, Matthew’s Passion was in regular use on Palm Sunday, and John’s on Good Friday, while the others were used during the intervening days. The Book of Common Prayer continued this tradition, with a few modifications; it fitted well with Cranmer’s concern for the ordered and comprehensive reading of Scripture in divine service. The use of Matthew’s Passion on Palm Sunday and John’s Passion on Good Friday was also retained by the German Lutheran churches, which is why those two were set to music by Bach. Common Worship retains the use of John’s Passion on Good Friday, and provides for the other three to be used on Palm Sunday in successive years.

The four evangelists

The four evangelists tell the same story, but with different and characteristic emphases. Mark’s account is spare and simple: the true nature of Jesus’ messiahship is revealed as he gives himself in suffering love. Matthew’s fuller narrative is concerned to show how the Scriptures have been literally accomplished in the details of Jesus’ suffering and death. Luke adds unique details, such as the healing by Jesus of the high priest’s servant’s severed ear, or the encounter between Jesus and Herod Antipas. John shows us a Jesus fully in charge of his own destiny to the end (19.17). There is no Simon of Cyrene to help carry his cross, and no cry of final desolation. In John’s distinctive chronology, Jesus dies as the lambs are slain for the celebration of Passover. When the centurion pierces his side, blood and water flow from the wound; early Christian commentators were quick to see them as signs of the sacraments of baptism and eucharist.

Posture

The reading of the Passion engages the body, as well as the mind and spirit. It is important, then, that careful thought is given to matters of posture and gesture throughout the reading, in order that everyone present may connect with the reality of the cross. There is a long- established convention of the congregation (except those prevented by infirmity) standing throughout the Passion. There is a sense in which the (slight) discomfort occasioned by this helps us in some small way to identify with the sufferings of Jesus. A traditional custom is to bow or to drop to one knee immediately after the Evangelist has narrated Jesus’ death. This simple but profound action can help mark the most solemn and dramatic moment in the text.

Images and music

Where facilities and layout allow, a projected sequence of images can greatly enhance the reading. Images should be carefully selected so as to support the text rather than work against it. As a general rule, they should aim to provide an evocative backdrop to the words, rather than try to be interpretative. Music might also be used as a background to at least some of the reading, though this needs exceptionally careful planning and preparation.

Silence

Silence is an important part of the experience. It is especially appropriate to keep silence after the Evangelist’s narration of the death of Jesus. The beginning and ending of the reading are similarly marked by silence. The Evangelist’s introduction, ‘The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N’, has no congregational response. Likewise, the response to ‘This is the Passion of the Lord’ is not speech but silence, as we identify ourselves with Jesus in his suffering.

The Passion Gospels in Continuous Form

Contents

Palm Sunday

The Passion according to Matthew – Year A

The Passion according to Mark – Year B

The Passion according to Luke – Year C

Good Friday

The Passion according to John

¶    Palm Sunday

The Passion according to Matthew
Year A

Matthew 26.14 – 27.66 or Matthew 27.11-54

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

One of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.” ’ So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ He answered, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’ Judas, who betrayed him, said, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’ He replied, ‘You have said so.’

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’

When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written,

“I will strike the shepherd,

and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”

But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.’ Peter said to him, ‘Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ Peter said to him, ‘Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.’ And so said all the disciples.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Again he went away for the second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.’ At once he came up to Jesus and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you are here to do.’ Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?’ At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, ‘This fellow said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.”’ The high priest stood up and said, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, ‘I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you,

From now on you will see the Son of Man

seated at the right hand of Power

and coming on the clouds of heaven.’

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death.’ Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, saying, ‘Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?’

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’ But he denied it before all of them, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ Again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’ After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.’ Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know the man!’ At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: ‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to it yourself.’ Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.’ After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.’

The shorter version begins here.

Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said, ‘You say so.’ But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?’ But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’ Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’

So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’

Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, “I am God’s Son.” ’ The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’ At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’

The shorter version ends here.

Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, ‘Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, “After three days I will rise again.” Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead”, and the last deception would be worse than the first.’ Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.’ So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

The Passion according to Mark
Year B

Mark 14.1 – 15.47 or Mark 15.1-39 [40-47]

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’

While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, ‘Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, ‘Surely, not I?’ He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’

When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, ‘You will all become deserters; for it is written,

“I will strike the shepherd,

and the sheep will be scattered.”

But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.’ Peter said to him, ‘Even though all become deserters, I will not.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ But he said vehemently, ‘Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.’ And all of them said the same.

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’

Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.’ All of them deserted him and fled.

A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.” ‘ But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said, ‘I am; and

“you will see the Son of Man

seated at the right hand of the Power”,

and “coming with the clouds of heaven.” ’

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?’ All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophesy!’ The guards also took him over and beat him.

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘I do not know or understand what you are talking about.’ And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, ‘This man is one of them.’ But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.’ But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know this man you are talking about.’ At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ And he broke down and wept.

The shorter version begins here.

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’ Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again, ‘Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.’ But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?’ They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’ So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews.’ And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!’ In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.’ Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’

The shorter version may end here.

There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

The Passion according to Luke
Year C

Luke 22.14–23.56 or Luke 23.1–49

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.

When the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!’ Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.

A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

‘You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

‘Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.’

He said to them, ‘When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?’ They said, ‘No, not a thing.’ He said to them, ‘But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, “And he was counted among the lawless”; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.’ They said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’ He replied, ‘It is enough.’

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’ Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’

While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?’ When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, ‘Lord, should we strike with the sword?’ Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!’

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, ‘This man also was with him.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’ A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, ‘You also are one of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!’ Then about an hour later yet another kept insisting, ‘Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about!’ At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.

Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, ‘Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?’ They kept heaping many other insults on him.

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. They said, ‘If you are the Messiah, tell us.’ He replied, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.’ All of them asked, ‘Are you, then, the Son of God?’ He said to them, ‘You say that I am.’ Then they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!’

The shorter version begins here.

Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.’ Then Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He answered, ‘You say so.’ Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no basis for an accusation against this man.’ But they were insistent and said, ‘He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.’

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.’

Then they all shouted out together, ‘Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!’ (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’ A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.’ But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’ The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, ‘Certainly this man was innocent.’ And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The shorter version ends here.

Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

¶    Good Friday

The Passion according to John

John 18.1 – 19.42 (or, if the account of the burial of Christ is to be read later, the Passion Gospel is John 18.1 – 19.37)

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to 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, ‘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 fulfil 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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.’

If the account of the burial of Christ is to be read later, the Passion Gospel ends here.

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.

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

The Passion Gospels in Dramatic Form

Contents

Introduction

Palm Sunday

The Passion according to Matthew – Year A

The Passion according to Mark – Year B

The Passion according to Luke – Year C

Good Friday

The Passion according to John

¶    Introduction

There are many ways in which the Passion Gospels may be read. A traditional custom, deriving from the three sacred ministers of the High Mass, is for the president to take the part of Jesus, the deacon the role of the Evangelist, the subdeacon the lesser individual speaking parts (Peter, Pilate, high priest, centurion etc.), and the choir or congregation the ‘plural’ parts (disciples, priests, soldiers, etc.) and the part of the crowd. This division works well and may easily be expanded or adapted to fit the local situation. The parts of Jesus and the Evangelist need not necessarily be given to liturgical ministers, and the lesser speaking parts may be distributed among individuals within the congregation or assigned to a small group of readers. A distinction might be made between those ‘plural’ parts that are sub-sets of the crowd (witnesses, bystanders, passers-by, etc.) and the others (disciples, priests, soldiers, etc.) that are not. The former might be taken by small groups distributed within the congregation and the latter by small groups within a choir, for example. The congregation’s identification with the crowd in the Matthew and Mark Passions is powerful and to be encouraged.

It is vital that the main protagonists (however experienced) are rehearsed in advance of the event. This is especially important in relation to the placing of readers and the use of microphones. All readers need to be clearly audible, and adopt an appropriate pace and style of reading, being able to speak ‘in role’ without over-acting.

The texts of the Passion Gospels in dramatic form are also published separately in Proclaiming the Passion (Church House Publishing, 2007). In the pages that follow, page numbers from Proclaiming the Passion are given in bold.

¶    Palm Sunday

The Passion according to Matthew
Year A

Voices

Evangelist

Jesus

The following parts may be taken by a third voice

Caiaphas

Centurion

Judas

Peter

Pilate

Pilate’s wife

Servant-girl 1

Servant-girl 2

The following parts may be taken by the congregation or choir

Disciples

Priests

Soldiers

Bystanders

Passers-by

Witnesses

Crowd

Matthew 26.14 – 27.66 or Matthew 27.11-54

Evangelist

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Evangelist

One of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said,

Judas

What will you give me if I betray him to you?

Evangelist

They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus.

Disciples

Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?

Jesus

Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him,‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’

Evangelist

So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said,

Jesus

Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.

Evangelist

And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another,

Disciples

Surely not I, Lord?

Jesus

The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.

Evangelist

Judas, who betrayed him, said,

Judas

Surely not I, Rabbi?

Jesus

You have said so.

Evangelist

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said,

Jesus

Take, eat; this is my body.

Evangelist

Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying,

Jesus

Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Evangelist

When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them,

Jesus

You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written,‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.

Evangelist

Peter said to him,

Peter

Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.

Jesus

Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.

Peter

Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.

Evangelist

And so said all the disciples.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples,

Jesus

Sit here while I go over there and pray.

Evangelist

He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them,

Jesus

I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.

Evangelist

And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed,

Jesus

My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.

Evangelist

Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter,

Jesus

So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Evangelist

Again he went away for the second time and prayed,

Jesus

My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.

Evangelist

Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them,

Jesus

Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.

Evangelist

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign:

Judas

The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.

Evangelist

At once he came up to Jesus and said,

Judas

Greetings, Rabbi!

Evangelist

and kissed him.

Jesus

Friend, do what you are here to do.

Evangelist

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

Jesus

Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?

Evangelist

At that hour Jesus said to the crowds,

Jesus

Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.

Evangelist

Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward.

Witnesses

This fellow said,‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’

Evangelist

The high priest stood up and said,

Caiaphas

Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?

Evangelist

But Jesus was silent.

Caiaphas

I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.

Jesus

You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.

Evangelist

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said,

Caiaphas

He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses?

You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?

Priests

He deserves death.

Evangelist

Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him.

Priests

Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?

Evangelist

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said,

Servant-girl 1

You also were with Jesus the Galilean.

Evangelist

But he denied it before all of them,

Peter

I do not know what you are talking about.

Evangelist

When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders,

Servant-girl 2

This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.

Evangelist

Again he denied it with an oath,

Peter

I do not know the man.

Evangelist

After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter,

Bystanders

Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.

Evangelist

Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath,

Peter

I do not know the man!

Evangelist

At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said:‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.

Judas

I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.

Priests

What is that to us? See to it yourself.

Evangelist

Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said,

Priests

It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.

Evangelist

After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah,‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.’

The shorter version begins here.

Evangelist

Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him,

Pilate

Are you the King of the Jews?

Jesus

You say so.

Evangelist

But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him,

Pilate

Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?

Evangelist

But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them,

Pilate

Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?

Evangelist

For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him,

Pilate’s wife

Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.

Evangelist

Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them,

Pilate

Which of the two do you want me to release for you?

Crowd

Barabbas.

Pilate

Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?

Crowd

Let him be crucified!

Pilate

Why, what evil has he done?

Crowd

(louder) Let him be crucified!

Evangelist

So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd.

Pilate

I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.

Crowd

His blood be on us and on our children!

Evangelist

So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him.

Soldiers

Hail, King of the Jews!

Evangelist

They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’

Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads.

Passers-by

You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Evangelist

In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him.

Priests

He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said,‘I am God’s Son.’

Evangelist

The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice,

Jesus

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?

Evangelist

That is,‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,

Bystanders

This man is calling for Elijah.

Evangelist

At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said,

Bystanders

Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.

Evangelist

Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said,

Centurion

Truly this man was God’s Son!

The shorter version ends here.

Evangelist

Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said,

Priests

Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead’, and the last deception would be worse than the first.

Pilate

You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.

Evangelist

So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

Evangelist

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

The Passion according to Mark
Year B

Voices

Evangelist

Jesus

The following parts may be taken by a third voice

Bystander

Centurion

High priest

Judas

Peter

Pilate

Servant-girl

The following parts may be taken by the congregation or choir

Disciples

Priests

Scribes

Soldiers

Bystanders

Passers-by

Witnesses

Crowd

Mark 14.1 – 15.47 or Mark 15.1-39[40-47]

Evangelist

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

Evangelist

It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said,

Priests

Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.

Evangelist

While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger,

Disciples

Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.

Evangelist

And they scolded her. But Jesus said,

Jesus

Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.

Evangelist

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him,

Disciples

Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?

Evangelist

So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,

Jesus

Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house,‘The Teacher asks,Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.

Evangelist

So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said,

Jesus

Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.

Evangelist

They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another,

Disciples

Surely, not I?

Jesus

It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.

Evangelist

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said,

Jesus

Take; this is my body.

Evangelist

Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.

Jesus

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Evangelist

When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them,

Jesus

You will all become deserters; for it is written,

‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’

But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.

Evangelist

Peter said to him,

Peter

Even though all become deserters, I will not.

Jesus

Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.

Peter

(vehemently) Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.

Evangelist

And all of them said the same.

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples,

Jesus

Sit here while I pray.

Evangelist

He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them,

Jesus

I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.

Evangelist

And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

Jesus

Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.

Evangelist

He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter,

Jesus

Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Evangelist

And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them,

Jesus

Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.

Evangelist

Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign:

Judas

The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.

Evangelist

So when he came, he went up to him at once and said,

Judas

Rabbi!

Evangelist

and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them,

Jesus

Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.

Evangelist

All of them deserted him and fled.

A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire.

Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him.

Witnesses

We heard him say,‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’

Evangelist

But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus,

High priest

Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?

Evangelist

But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him,

High priest

Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?

Jesus

I am; and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.

Evangelist

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said,

High priest

Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?

Evangelist

All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him,

Scribes

Prophesy!

Evangelist

The guards also took him over and beat him.

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said,

Servant-girl

You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.

Evangelist

But he denied it:

Peter

I do not know or understand what you are talking about.

Evangelist

And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders,

Servant-girl

This man is one of them.

Evangelist

But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter,

Bystanders

Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.

Evangelist

But he began to curse, and he swore an oath,

Peter

I do not know this man you are talking about.

Evangelist

At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ And he broke down and wept.

The shorter version begins here.

Evangelist

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him,

Pilate

Are you the King of the Jews?

Jesus

You say so.

Evangelist

Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again,

Pilate

Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.

Evangelist

But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them,

Pilate

Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?

Evangelist

For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again,

Pilate

Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?

Crowd

Crucify him!

Pilate

Why, what evil has he done?

Crowd

(louder) Crucify him!

Evangelist

So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him,

Soldiers

Hail, King of the Jews!

Evangelist

They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read,‘The King of the Jews.’ And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads.

Passers-by

Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!

Evangelist

In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves.

Priests

He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.

Evangelist

Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice,

Jesus

Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?

Evangelist

which means,‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,

Bystanders

Listen, he is calling for Elijah.

Evangelist

And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying,

Bystander

Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.

Evangelist

Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said,

Centurion

Truly this man was God’s Son!

The shorter version may end here.

Evangelist

There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

Evangelist

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

The Passion according to Luke
Year C

Voices

Evangelist

Jesus

The following parts may be taken by a third voice

Bystander 1

Bystander 2

Centurion

Peter

Pilate

Robber 1

Robber 2

Servant-girl

The following parts may be taken by the congregation or choir

Disciples

Men

Priests

Soldiers

Luke 22.14 – 23.56 or Luke 23.1–49

Evangelist

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.

Evangelist

When the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them,

Jesus

I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

Evangelist

Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said,

Jesus

Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.

Evangelist

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,

Jesus

This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

Evangelist

And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying,

Jesus

This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!

Evangelist

Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.

A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them,

Jesus

The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Evangelist

Jesus said to Simon Peter,

Jesus

Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

Peter

Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!

Jesus

I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.

When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?

Disciples

No, not a thing.

Jesus

But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.

Disciples

Lord, look, here are two swords.

Jesus

It is enough.

Evangelist

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them,

Jesus

Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.

Evangelist

Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed,

Jesus

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.

Evangelist

Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.

When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them,

Jesus

Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.

Evangelist

While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him,

Jesus

Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?

Evangelist

When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked,

Disciples

Lord, should we strike with the sword?

Evangelist

Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said,

Jesus

No more of this!

Evangelist

And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him,

Jesus

Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!

Evangelist

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said,

Servant-girl

This man also was with him.

Evangelist

But he denied it:

Peter

Woman, I do not know him.

Evangelist

A little later someone else, on seeing him, said,

Bystander 1

You also are one of them.

Peter

Man, I am not!

Evangelist

Then about an hour later yet another kept insisting,

Bystander 2

Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.

Peter

Man, I do not know what you are talking about!

Evangelist

At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him,‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.

Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him,

Men

Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?

Evangelist

They kept heaping many other insults on him.

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. They said,

Priests

If you are the Messiah, tell us.

Jesus

If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.

Priests

Are you, then, the Son of God?

Jesus

You say that I am.

Priests

What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!

The shorter version begins here.

Evangelist

Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They began to accuse him.

Priests

We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.

Pilate

Are you the king of the Jews?

Jesus

You say so.

Pilate

(to the priests) I find no basis for an accusation against this man.

Priests

(urgently) He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.

Evangelist

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them,

Pilate

You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.

Evangelist

Then they all shouted out together,

Priests

Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!

Evangelist

This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder. Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting,

Priests

Crucify, crucify him!

Evangelist

A third time he said to them,

Pilate

Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.

Evangelist

But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

Evangelist

As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said,

Jesus

Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say,‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains,‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?

Evangelist

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said,

Jesus

Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.

Evangelist

And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him.

Priests

He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!

Evangelist

The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine.

Soldiers

If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!

Evangelist

There was also an inscription over him,‘This is the King of the Jews.’

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him.

Robber 1

Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!

Evangelist

But the other rebuked him.

Robber 2

Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Jesus

Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.

Evangelist

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,

Jesus

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Evangelist

Having said this, he breathed his last.

When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said,

Centurion

Certainly this man was innocent.

Evangelist

And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The shorter version ends here.

Evangelist

Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Evangelist

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

¶    Good Friday

The Passion according to John

Voices

Evangelist

Jesus

The following parts may be taken by a third voice

Officer

Peter

Pilate

Slave

Woman

The following parts may be taken by the congregation or choir

Priests

Soldiers

Bystanders

John 18.1 – 19.42 (or, if the account of the burial of Christ is to be read later, the Passion Gospel is John 18.1 – 19.37)

Evangelist

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Evangelist

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

For whom are you looking?

Soldiers

Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus

I am he.

Evangelist

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

For whom are you looking?

Soldiers

Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus

I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.

Evangelist

This was to fulfil 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?

Evangelist

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.

Evangelist

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,

Woman

You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?

Peter

I am not.

Evangelist

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,

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.

Evangelist

When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying,

Officer

Is that how you answer the high priest?

Jesus

If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?

Evangelist

Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him,

Bystanders

You are not also one of his disciples, are you?

Peter

I am not.

Evangelist

One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked,

Slave

Did I not see you in the garden with him?

Evangelist

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?

Priests

If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.

Pilate

Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.

Priests

We are not permitted to put anyone to death.

Evangelist

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,

Pilate

Are you the King of the Jews?

Jesus

Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?

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?

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.

Pilate

So you are a king?

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.

Pilate

What is truth?

Evangelist

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?

Priests

Not this man, but Barabbas!

Evangelist

Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Evangelist

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!

Evangelist

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.

Evangelist

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.

Pilate

Here is the man!

Evangelist

When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted,

Priests

Crucify him! Crucify him!

Pilate

Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.

Priests

We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.

Evangelist

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever.

He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus,

Pilate

Where are you from?

Evangelist

But Jesus gave him no answer.

Pilate

Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?

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.

Evangelist

From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out,

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.

Evangelist

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,

Pilate

Here is your King!

Priests

Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!

Pilate

Shall I crucify your King?

Priests

We have no king but the emperor.

Evangelist

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,

Priests

Do not write,‘The King of the Jews’, but,‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’

Pilate

What I have written I have written.

Evangelist

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.

Evangelist

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.

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.

Evangelist

Then he said to the disciple,

Jesus

Here is your mother.

Evangelist

And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Evangelist

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture),

Jesus

I am thirsty.

Evangelist

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.

Evangelist

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.’

If the account of the burial of Christ is to be read later, the Passion Gospel ends here.

Evangelist

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.

Evangelist

This is the Passion of the Lord.

No response is made.

The Way of the Cross

A Brief History

The Stations of the Cross have formed part of Christian devotion at Passiontide for many centuries because they enable us to engage actively with the path of suffering walked by Jesus. They originated when early Christians visited Jerusalem and wanted to follow literally in the footsteps of Jesus, tracing the path from Pilate’s house to Calvary. They would pause for prayer and devotion at various points. Eventually those pilgrims brought the practice back to their home countries and ever since then Christians of differing traditions have used this form of devotion.

In the late fourteenth century the Franciscans were given the responsibility for the holy places of Jerusalem and they erected tableaux to aid the devotion of the visitors. These kinds of images are now commonplace inside churches, and occasionally outside them.

The number of stations has varied immensely through the centuries from as few as five to as many as thirty-six, but the now traditional number of fourteen was established by Clement XII in 1731 – nine scriptural stations and a further five based on popular devotion. However, owing to the increasing ecumenical popularity of this devotion there have been attempts to create a wholly scriptural set on which to focus.

The selection of stations presented here all have their root in the biblical story of Jesus rather than drawing on legend or popular, yet unscriptural, stories. This development makes the Stations of the Cross more accessible to all traditions within the Christian Church.

The recent rediscovery of the unity of the death and resurrection of Jesus has also led to the inclusion of a fifteenth station – the Resurrection. Though this may be superseded by the emergence of the Stations of the Resurrection as part of popular devotion, it is strongly suggested that this station be included, especially if the stations are used outside Lent and Passiontide.

Here, we offer liturgical resources only for scriptural stations, because those churches which have non-scriptural tableaux in place will probably have the resources already. Many churches will no doubt continue to use the fourteen ‘traditional’ stations because they are determined by the tableaux that are hung in the churches. For the information of those who may wish to use the ‘traditional’ stations they are listed here.

The stations may be used as a focus for personal prayer or as part of a liturgical celebration. In this latter context they have been used either as a whole service in themselves, or a few of the stations have been used in the context of a larger liturgical celebration.

Notes
1  Images

As well as the traditional tableaux around the walls of (or even outside) churches, there are a number of publishers who produce images that can easily be displayed when the Stations are used. There are also ways of representing the stations symbolically: for example, the Agony in the Garden could be represented by a goblet or chalice with wine in it, the betrayal and arrest by a pair of handcuffs etc. At the beginning of the service a large cross could be prominent, or brought in, from which the Gathering and the Conclusion could be led.

2  Movement

Movement is at the heart of this kind of worship. If possible, people should be encouraged to leave their places, move around the building and gather at each station. However, where it is necessary for the congregation to stay in their seats they could be encouraged to turn and face each of the stations.

3  Structuring the Service

The structure of the main part of the service is self-explanatory. The Gathering and the Conclusion should always be included. It is not necessary that all the stations be used in one act of worship; a few of them might be used over a number of weeks. It is recommended, however, that the order presented here should be maintained.

4  Response

At the end there is the opportunity to insert an appropriate response. This could be penitence, praise, intercession or some action that is appropriate to the stations selected.

5  Music

Hymns or songs may be added at suitable points. It is traditional to use a verse from the hymn Stabat Mater to conclude each station. If this is used it could replace the Trisagion.

6  Holy Communion

If the stations are to form part of a service of Holy Communion they form the Liturgy of the Word, and the Liturgy of the Sacrament begins with the Peace. Care should be taken to conform with the requirements of A Service of the Word with a Celebration of Holy Communion (Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, page 25).

The Way of the Cross

¶    The Gathering

The ministers enter in silence.

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

All   Amen.

Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.’

Matthew 16.24,25

Once we were far off, but now in union with Christ Jesus we have been brought near through the shedding of Christ’s blood, for he is our peace.

Ephesians 2.13,14

An appropriate greeting may be given.

A minister may introduce the service and then says

Let us pray.

A brief moment of silence follows.

Almighty and everlasting God,

who in your tender love towards the human race

sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

to take upon him our flesh

and to suffer death upon the cross:

grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,

and also be made partakers of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    First Station:

    Jesus in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’

Mark 14.32-36

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you entered the garden of fear

and faced the agony of your impending death:

be with those who share that agony

and face death unwillingly this day.

You shared our fear and knew the weakness of our humanity:

give strength and hope to the dispirited and despairing.

To you, Jesus, who sweated blood,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Second Station:

    Jesus betrayed by Judas and arrested

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him.

Mark 14.43-46

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you were betrayed by the kiss of a friend:

be with those who are betrayed and slandered and falsely accused.

You knew the experience of having your love

thrown back in your face for mere silver:

be with families which are torn apart by mistrust or temptation.

To you, Jesus, who offered your face to your betrayer,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Third Station:

    Jesus condemned by the Sanhedrin

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, ‘We heard him say,“I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands”.’ But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus,‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him,‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said,‘I am; and “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power”, and “coming with the clouds of heaven”.’ Then the high priest tore his clothes and said,‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?’ All of them condemned him as deserving death.

Mark 14.55-64

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you were the victim of religious bigotry:

be with those who are persecuted by small-minded authority.

You faced the condemnation of fearful hearts:

deepen the understanding of those who shut themselves off from the

experience and wisdom of others.

To you, Jesus, unjustly judged victim,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Fourth Station:

    Peter denies Jesus

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him,‘Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ And he broke down and wept.

Mark 14.72

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, as Peter betrayed you,

you experienced the double agony of love rejected and

friendship denied:

be with those who know no friends and are rejected by society.

You understood the fear within Peter:

help us to understand the anxieties of those who fear for their future.

To you, Jesus, who gazed with sadness at your lost friend,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Fifth Station:

    Jesus judged by Pilate

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’ So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Mark 15.14,15

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you were condemned to death for political expediency:

be with those who are imprisoned for the convenience of the powerful.

You were the victim of unbridled injustice:

change the minds and motivations of oppressors and exploiters

to your way of peace.

To you, Jesus, innocent though condemned,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Sixth Station:

    Jesus scourged and crowned with thorns

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.

Mark 15.17-19

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you faced the torment of barbaric punishment and

mocking tongue:

be with those who cry out in physical agony and emotional distress.

You endured unbearable abuse:

be with those who face torture and mockery in our world today.

To you, Jesus, the King crowned with thorns,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Seventh Station:

    Jesus carries the cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

Mark 15.20

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you carried the cross through the rough streets of Jerusalem:

be with those who are loaded with burdens beyond their strength.

You bore the weight of our sins when you carried the cross:

help us to realize the extent and the cost of your love for us.

To you, Jesus, bearing a cross not your own,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Eighth Station:

    Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Mark 15.21

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you were worn down by fatigue:

be with those from whom life drains all energy.

You needed the help of a passing stranger:

give us the humility to receive aid from others.

To you, Jesus, weighed down with exhaustion and in need of help,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Ninth Station:

    Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke.

A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’

Luke 23.27-31

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, the women of Jerusalem wept for you:

move us to tears at the plight of the broken in our world.

You embraced the pain of Jerusalem, the ‘city of peace’:

bless Jerusalem this day and lead it to the path of profound peace.

To you, Jesus, the King of peace who wept for the city of peace,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Tenth Station:

    Jesus is crucified

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

Mark 15.24

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you bled in pain as the nails were driven into your flesh:

transform through the mystery of your love the pain of those

who suffer.

To you, Jesus, our crucified Lord,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Eleventh Station:

    Jesus promises the kingdom to the penitent thief

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Luke.

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

Luke 23.39-43

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, even in your deepest agony you listened to the

crucified thief:

hear us as we unburden to you our deepest fears.

You spoke words of love in your hour of death:

help us to speak words of life to a dying world.

To you, Jesus, who offer hope to the hopeless,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Twelfth Station:

    Jesus on the cross; his mother and his friend

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to John.

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.

John 19.26,27

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, your mother and your dearest friend stayed with you to

the bitter end,

yet even while racked with pain you ministered to them:

be with all broken families today

and care for those who long for companionship.

You cared for your loved ones even in your death-throes:

give us a love for one another

that is stronger even than the fear of death.

To you, Jesus, loving in the face of death,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Thirteenth Station:

    Jesus dies on the cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

Mark 15.34-37

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you died on the cross

and entered the bleakest of all circumstances:

give courage to those who die at the hands of others.

In death you entered into the darkest place of all:

illumine our darkness with your glorious presence.

To you, Jesus, your lifeless body hanging on the tree of shame,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Fourteenth Station:

    Jesus laid in the tomb

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

Mark 15.46

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Lord of life, you became as nothing for us:

be with those who feel worthless and as nothing in the world’s eyes.

You were laid in a cold, dark tomb and hidden from sight:

be with all who suffer and die in secret,

hidden from the eyes of the world.

To you, Jesus, your rigid body imprisoned in a tomb,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    Fifteenth Station:

    Jesus risen from the dead

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

All   because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Mark.

When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Mark 16.4-8

Reflection / Meditation

Reflection or meditation may follow.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you were dead but now you are alive:

transform the torments of this world’s sin

that we may see your radiant glory.

You were raised from death to life:

may the power of your resurrection live in us,

that we may be channels of your true life beyond measure.

To you, Jesus, who have broken free from the bonds of death,

be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

now and for ever.

All   Amen.

All   Holy God,

holy and strong,

holy and immortal,

have mercy upon us.

¶    The Conclusion

A response may be made to the preceding stations. This might take the form of praise, penitence, intercession or some other relevant action, accompanied by silence or singing.

Let us pray for the coming of God’s kingdom

in the words our Saviour taught us

All   Our Father in heaven…

(or)

All   Our Father, who art in heaven…

Most merciful God,

who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ

delivered and saved the world:

grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross

we may triumph in the power of his victory;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

One of the following responsories is used

You are worthy, O Lamb, for you were slain,

and by your blood you ransomed for God

saints from every tribe and language and nation;

you have made them to be a kingdom and priests

serving our God.

All   We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

To him who loves us

and has freed us from our sins by his blood,

and made us a kingdom of priests

to stand and serve before our God;

All   to him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb

be praise and honour, glory and might,

for ever and ever. Amen.

(or)

All   We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Christ was manifested in the body,

vindicated in the spirit,

seen by angels,

proclaimed among the nations,

believed in throughout the world,

glorified in high heaven.

All   We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,

because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

The Lord be with you

All   and also with you.

May God bless us,

that in us may be found love and humility,

obedience and thanksgiving,

discipline, gentleness and peace.

All   Amen.

The ministers and people depart in silence.

The Way of the Cross: the ‘Traditional’ Stations

I

Pilate condemns Jesus to death

II

Jesus accepts his cross

III

Jesus falls the first time

IV

Jesus meets his mother

V

Simon helps Jesus carry the cross

VI

Veronica offers her veil to Jesus

VII

Jesus falls the second time

VIII

Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem

IX

Jesus falls the third time

X

Jesus is stripped of his garments

XI

Jesus is nailed to the cross

XII

Jesus dies on the cross

XIII

Jesus is taken down from the cross

XIV

Jesus is placed in the tomb

A further station depicting the resurrection of Jesus may be added.