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Introduction & Prayer
Behold, the Cross displayed, whereon the Saviour of the world did hang. O come ye, let us worship and bow down.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Which art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy Kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
In earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

O Saviour of the world, who by they Cross and precious blood has redeemed us:
Save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.

Anthem    ‘Drop, drop, slow tears’ – Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)

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(The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge)
Drop, drop, slow tears and bathe those beauteous feet, Which brought from heaven the news and prince of peace:
Cease not, wet eyes, his mercies to entreat; To cry for vengeance sin doth never cease.
In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears; Nor let his eye see sin, but through my tears. (Phineas Fletcher 1582-1650)

Reading    Isaiah 53, vs 3-8 The Cross is Foretold

He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.

Hymn        There is a green hill far away
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(The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge conducted by Stephen Cleobury)

There is a green hill far away,
without a city wall,
where the dear Lord was crucified,
who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell,
what pains he had to bear;
but we believe it was for us
he hung and suffered there.

He died that we might be forgiv’n,
he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heav’n,
saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin;
he only could unlock the gate
of heav’n, and let us in

O dearly, dearly has he loved,
and we must love him too,
and trust in his redeeming blood,
and try his works to do.

Anthem    ‘Is it nothing to you’ – F A Gore-Ouseley (1825-1889)

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(The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford directed by John Harper)
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and see, if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger. (Lamentations 1, 12)

Reading    St Mark 14, vs 32-50 Jesus is betrayed

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.

Anthem    ‘Lord, For Thy tender Mercy’s Sake – either Richard Farrant (d.1580/81) or John Hilton (1560-1608)

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(The Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by Martin Neary)
Lord, for thy tender mercy’s sake lay not our sins to our charge; but forgive that is past and give us grace to amend our sinful lives; to decline from sin, and incline to virtue, that we may walk in an upright heart before thee this night and evermore. (Christian Prayers and Holy Meditations, 1568)

Reading    St Matthew 27, vs 11-31 Jesus is tried before the Roman Governor

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 judgment 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.

Hymn        My song is love unknown
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(The Choir and Congregation of King’s College, Cambridge)

My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take
Frail flesh, and die?

He came from His blest throneSalvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But oh, my Friend,
My Friend indeed,
Who at my need
His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!”
Is all their breath,
And for His death
They thirst and cry.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay.
Yet cheerful He
To suffering goes,
That He His foes
From thence might free.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King,
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend,
In whose sweet praise
I all my days
Could gladly spend.

Reading    St John 19, vs 17-22 Jesus is 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.”

Anthem    Solus ad Victimam – Kenneth Leighton (1929-88)

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(The Choir of Somerville College, Oxford conducted by David Crown)
Alone to sacrifice thou goest, Lord,
Giving thyself to Death whom thou hast slain.
For us thy wretched folk is any word,
Who know that for our sins this is thy pain

For they are ours, O Lord, our deeds, our deeds,
Why must thou suffer torture for our sin?
Let our hearts suffer in thy Passion, Lord,
That very suffering may thy mercy win.

This is the night of tears, the three days’ space,
Sorrow abiding of the eventide,
Until the day break with the risen Christ,
And hearts that sorrowed shall be satisfied.

So may our hearts share in thine anguish, Lord,
That they may sharers of thy glory be;
Heavy with weeping may the three days pass,
To win the laughter of thine Easter Day.
(Peter Abelard 1079-1142 Tr. Helen Waddell)

Reading    St Mark 15, vs 33-39 Jesus dies upon the Cross

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!”

Anthem    ‘Ave verum corpus’ – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91)

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(The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge conducted by Stephen Cleobury)
Ave, verum corpus
natum de Maria Virgine,
Vere passum immolatum
in Cruce pro homine,
Cujus latus perforatum
unda fluxit (et) sanguine,
Esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine

Hail,true body
born of the Virgin Mary,
Who truly suffered, sacrificed
on the Cross for man,
Whose pierced side overflowed
with water and blood,
Be for us a foretaste
In the test of death

Reading    Philippians 2, vs 5-11 Christ Triumphant

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Lord Jesus, who on this holy day of your Passion didst stretch out thine arms upon the hard wood of the Cross, that all men might be brought within their saving embrace; draw us unto thyself with the bands of thy love, that, being bound unto thee for ever as thy faithful servants, we may take up our cross daily and follow thee, and at length attain to thine everlasting joy, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavor ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life: through he same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ.
For all the benefits which thou hast won for me
For all the pains and insults which thou hast borne for me.

O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, May I see thee more clearly, Love thee more dearly, And follow thee more nearly, Day by day. Amen.

Hymn        When I survey the wondrous Cross
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(The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge conducted by Stephen Cleobury)

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of glory died,
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
save in the death of Christ, my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them through his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er his body on the tree;
Then am I dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

Silent Prayer

This Devotion for Congregation and Choir follows
the broad scheme laid down in:
The Cross of Christ (RSCM, 1956)

Some of the material included in this Service is Copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000
and other Hymns and Music are reproduced and streamed under
Church Copyright Licences 778647 and 873889