Plague Rag Good Friday

Good Friday: 10 April, 2020

In my last Plague Rag I asked you to consider that worship defines who we are as Christians. We worship to pray, and prayer allows us to enter into the heart of God’s being. The second of the great liturgies of this time is that of Good Friday. It is introduced with these words:

IN THE STARKNESS of the liturgy on this day, we are enabled to enter more deeply into the mystery of the finished work of Christ, his death and resurrection, and to be faced more clearly and realistically with the challenge of the crucified Lord in the world today.

The Celebration of Good Friday includes four main parts:


We listen to the words of Scripture and strive to understand the true meaning of Christ’s suffering and the mind that was in him.


We give our devotions to the cross as a symbol of his triumph.


We pray with his Spirit for the needs of the whole world.


The sacrament that we have adored since yesterday is consumed, and the sacramental presence ends in the church.

The heart of this liturgy has always been the proclamation or veneration of the Cross. The Cross is at the heart of our lives: it is the crucible that takes death and abandonment into life and hope. Our churches are dominated by crosses; especially the great crucifix of the suffering Christ. I always love the crucifix we place above the altar at this time, with the lighting throwing shadows suggesting the crosses of the two thieves on each side.

This year we cannot share this moment of abandonment together. We cannot share touching and kissing the crucifix. We are abandoned and alone in a different way.

It is important that we share that abandonment. If we only sing for joy we can never taste its sweetness, for joy can only be appreciated with the shadows of grief.

I invite you this year to take a crucifix at home and join in the solemn prayers of the veneration. I have included this part of the liturgy for your use.


A wooden cross is brought into the church. As the cross is carried in, the procession will stop three times and the following will be sung 

Behold the wood of the Cross whereon was hung the world’s 


O Come, let us worship.

You are invited to approach the cross and make your personal devotion to it at the altar rails after the third station.

A suitable devotion is holding the foot of the cross and making a prayer, or kissing it.

During the devotions the choir will sing the reproaches, in this or another version, and also other anthems.

It is important to remember that the reproaches are to be understood as applying to the present Church, and we are to hear the reproaches as directed to our own hardness of heart and failure of discipleship. 

My people, what have I done to you

How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you out of Egypt, 

from slavery to freedom, 

but you led your Saviour to the cross.

Holy is God! 

Holy and strong! 

Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!

For forty years I led you 

safely through the desert.

I fed you with manna from heaven,

and brought you to a land of plenty; but you led your Saviour to the cross.

Holy is God! 

Holy and strong! 

Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!

What more could I have done for you. 

I planted you as my fairest vine, 

but you yielded only bitterness: 

when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink, 

and you pierced your Saviour with a lance.

Holy is God! 

Holy and strong! 

Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!

For your sake I scourged your captors 

and their firstborn sons, 

but you brought your scourges down on me.

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you from slavery to freedom 

and drowned your captors in the sea, 

but you handed me over to your high priests. 

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I opened the sea before you, 

but you opened my side with a spear.

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud, 

but you led me to Pilate’s court. 

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I bore you up with manna in the desert, 

but you struck me down and scourged me. 

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I gave you saving water from the rock, 

but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink. 

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me!

For you I struck down the kings of Canaan. 

but you struck my head with a reed. 

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I gave you a royal sceptre, 

but you gave me a crown of thorns.

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me!

I raised you to the height of majesty, 

but you have raised me high on a cross. 

My people, what have I done to you? 
How have I offended you? Answer me! 

God bless

Fr Scott 

Online Resources – Holy Week and Easter Services

Did you have the chance to view any of last week’s recommendations?  Please let us know if you have anything to share.  For Holy Week we’ve added another review for streamed and recorded services, this time from the UK.  For Easter, we’ll have several apps for the daily office for you to try!

1.         Diocese of Chichester

The Diocese of Chichester in the Church of England is presenting a full suite of live and recorded services for Holy Week and the Triduum.  The schedule is at, but as they are eight-and-a-half hours behind us you might prefer the recorded versions! Streamed services are at and you’ll see a button at the bottom for the recorded services.

2          Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney

Christ Church St Laurence’s Triduum streamed services are listed at Don’t forget that Sydney is half an hour ahead of us! After streaming, recordings will be at

3.         Church of the Good Shepherd, Kotara (Newcastle)

Please don’t forget Father Zeb at the following link!


If you’re having any difficulty accessing these resources, please contact Tim Hender at

This Week

10 Friday                                                                                                                         GOOD FRIDAY

                         12.00 noon    Angelus & Rosary

11 Saturday                                                                                                                 HOLY SATURDAY

                         12.00 noon    Angelus

12 Sunday                                                                                                                                    EASTER

                         12.00 noon    Angelus


Let us pray.

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. Amen.

First reading                                                                                                              Isaiah 52:13–53:12

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 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. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm                                                                                                                                           31:1-18

1 To you, Lord, have I come for shel-ter:

         let me never be put to shame.

2 O deliver me in your right-eousness:

         incline your ear to me and be swift to save me.

3 Be for me a rock of refuge, a fortress to de-fend me:

         for you are my high rock and my stronghold.

4 Lead me and guide me for your name’s sake:

         bring me out of the net that they have secretly laid for me| for you are my strength.

5 Into your hands I commit my spi-rit:

         you will redeem me O Lord God of truth.

6 I hate those that clutch vain i-dols:

         but my trust is in the Lord.

7 I will rejoice and be glad in your loving-kind-ness:

         for you have looked on my distress | and known me in ad-versity.

8 You have not given me over to the power of the en-emy:

         you have set my feet where I may walk at liberty.

9 Have mercy upon me O Lord, for I am in trou-ble:

         my eye wastes away for grief | my throat also and my inward parts.

10 For my life wears out in sorrow, and my years with sigh-ing:

         my strength fails me in my affliction | and my bones are consumed.

11 I am become the scorn of all my e-nemies:

         and my neighbours wag their heads in de-rision.

12 I am a thing of horror to my friends:

         and those that see me in the street shrink from me.

13 I am forgotten like one dead and out of mind:

         I have become like a bro-ken vessel.

14 For I hear the whispering of ma-ny:

         and fear is on ev’ry side;

15 While they plot together a-gainst me:

         and scheme to take a-way my life.

16 But in you, Lord, have I put my trust:

         I have said ‘You are my God.’

17 All my days are in your hand:

         O deliver me from the power of my enemies | and from my


18 Make your face to shine upon your ser-vant:

         and save me for your mercy’s sake.

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

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Hear the word of the Lord,

The Passion Reading                                                                                                     John 18:28–19:42


Published by

St George the Martyr Anglican Church Goodwood, Adelaide, South Australia

An Anglican church in the Catholic tradition - the leading shrine church in Adelaide!

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