Good Friday (Year A)

See Holy Week - a Singing the Faith introduction

A new commandment I give unto you:
that you love one another as I have loved you,
that you love one another as I have loved you.
By this the world shall know that you are my disciples,
if you have love one for another.
By this the world shall know that you are my disciples,
if you have love one for another.

(StF 242)

The long extract from the Gospel of John runs from the betrayal of Jesus by Judas through to his death and burial. A lot happens in a short space of time, all hurried along by terrified religious authorities.

Colouring the action is the imagery of sacrifice and distorted appearance that the other readings emphasise. The marred appearance of Isaiah’s suffering servant, who has accompanied us throughout the week, is revealed. He is a beast of burden (bearing our own infirmities), a lamb to the slaughter. (Jesus’ trial is on the eve of the Passover Festival, which we read about yesterday: Exodus 12: 1-4 (5-10) 11-14.) The psalmist writes of an emaciated body, of feeling abandoned, of having no value except for his clothes that are divided up between others: all alluded to in the account of Jesus’ crucifixion, and a reminder too of the words of St Paul that we read on Tuesday (1 Corinthians 1: 18-31).

But the repeated lessons of earlier in the week are still present in the Letter to the Hebrews: that the self-giving love of Jesus models both God’s generous, forgiving love of us and the way we need to be with one another, in word and deed. “This” – Good Friday – “ is where faith discovers the length to which Love goes” (StF 282).

Isaiah 52: 13-53:12
Psalm 22
Hebrews 10: 16-25
John 18: 1-19:42

Suggested hymns

(Also see Singing the Good Friday story)

Come and see, come and see (StF 270)
Come, wounded Healer, your sufferings reveal (StF 271)
From heaven you came, helpless babe (StF 272)
Here hangs a man discarded (StF 273)
Listen, my people, here is my challenge (website only)
My song is love unknown (StF 277)
O Love divine, what have you done! (StF 278)
Praise to the holiest (StF 334)
Remembering Mary (website only)
Son of God humiliated (website only)
Stay here where nails are driven (StF 282)
The desolate Messiah dies (StF 283)
There is a green hill far away (StF 284)
Through long years of watchful waiting (StF 232)
We turn to you in our despair (website only)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (StF 285)
When I survey the wondrous cross (StF 287)
Would I have answered when you called (StF 674)