We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, and we respect and honor with gratitude the land itself, the legacy of the ancestors, and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Good Friday Service 2024

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This service continues our worship through the Triduum, the last three days of Holy Week. Friday was the day of the execution of Jesus . Good Friday is “good” because the death of Christ, as terrible as it was, led to the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, which brought new life to those who believe.

The Good Friday service is under the section in the Prayer Book “Proper Liturgies for Special Days” which contain key services in Lent – Ash Wednesday,  Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, the Great Vigil.  Good Friday is good because the death of Christ, as terrible as it was, led to the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, which brought new life to those who believe. 

The service has 6 parts:
1. An entrance in silence,  
2. Readings which include Isaiah, the ever present Psalm 22 and the John 18:1-19:42 Passion reading,
3. the Solemn Collects,
4. The Entrance of the Cross, the Veneration of the Cross,
5. Musical Meditations and
6. Conclusion. 

The first reading is from Isaiah, the ever present Psalm 22, Hebrews, and John Passion Gospel reading, John 18:1-19:42.


1 Photos

(full size gallery)

2. Videos

01_ Good Friday, March 29, 2024 – The River

02_Good Friday, March 29, 2024 – Osprey on the River

03 Good Friday March 29, 2024 – Opening and Scripture

04 Good Friday March 29, 2024 Song Without Words

05 Good Friday March 29, 2024 Passion Reading from John

06 Good Friday March 29, 2024 Adagio in G minor

07_Good Friday, March 29, 2024- Sermon Good Friday

08 Good Friday March 29, 2024 Hymn “Let thy blood in mercy poured”

09 Good Friday March 29, 2024 Solemn Collects

10_Good Friday March 29, 2024 – Entrance of the Cross

11 Good Friday March 31, 2024 Veneration of the Cross

12 Good Friday March 31, 2024 Conclusion Lord’s Prayer, Concluding Prayer

3. Commentary

David Lose writes of Good Friday “We are used to thinking of Good Friday as a day of solemnity, even of grief, as we ponder the sacrifice Jesus makes for us with his death on the cross.

Lose continues,”But have you ever thought of it as a day for celebration? If you take care in reading John’s Gospel – the Passion narrative appointed for Good Friday (the Synoptic accounts are read on Palm/Passion Sunday) – you’ll realize quickly that celebration is probably more the mood John invites then solemn grief. Because, according to John, Jesus’ death is no tragic accident but rather the culmination of Jesus’ earthly mission to rescue a fallen humanity from the power of sin, death, and a world captive to evil and draw them to God’s abundant life. Jesus, in other words, goes to the cross not just willingly but eagerly, for the cross is actually his throne, the place where he will be lifted up and from which he will draw all persons to himself (Jn. 12:32).”  

There are moments of bright light in the Good Friday story as Justin Taylor and Andreas Kostenberger point out – “A bright irony on this darkest of days is that the men who step forward to claim the corpse of the Christ for burial are not family members or disciples. They are members of the Sanhedrin: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. It is one more unexpected thread of grace woven into this tapestry of redemption. They quickly wrap Jesus’s body in a sheet and lay it in a nearby tomb. Evening is falling and they don’t have time to fully dress it with spices.”

From David Lose, “In the descriptions of this scene provided by the other evangelists, there is always a moment of agonizing self-doubt when Jesus asks, even begs, his heavenly Father to remove from him this cup of suffering and then comes through this moment of grievous testing and doubt by affirming, “not my will, but yours, be done” (Mk. 12:36, Mt.26:39, Lk. 22:42). There is no such moment of trial in John… The second scene, this one from the crucifixion, follows suit. For Jesus utters no cry of despair from the cross in John but instead fulfills prophecy, gives orders to his followers, and finally dies saying, “It is finished.”

The death is portrayed as an exaltation; it’s the way of his return, of his circuit back to the father from whom he had come. The phrase is constantly used “that the scripture might be fulfilled.” 

The Solemn Collects in the Prayer Book provide this theme of an active Christ and his mission alive – “Our heavenly Father sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved; that all who believe in him might be delivered from the power of sin and death, and become heirs with him of everlasting life.”

The Solemn Collects are prayers for all – “We pray, therefore, for people everywhere according to their  needs” – the church, world, the governments and people, and those who have died

One sermon (2018)  provided guidance to find the meaning of Good Friday and a way to approach the events in our life. “In addition to opening for us the way to eternal life, Jesus showed us how to face the end of our lives gracefully. In John’s gospel, Jesus does not resist death. At the end, he says, “It is finished.” Then he bows his head and gives up his spirit.

“What we can learn from this last moment in the life of Jesus is how to live every present moment that we have left in our lives as if each moment is our last, the summary of the lives that we have been granted, and to offer our moments as gifts and offerings to God and to one another.”

“In her book, The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully, Joan Chittister points out that the gift of getting older is that we come more and more deeply to know that everything in life has meaning. We cease to take life for granted, because we know that life is now, this very moment. We come to understand that “What we haven’t lived till now is still waiting for us. Behind every moment, the spirit of life, the God of life, waits….” and that every small thing we do is meant to take us deeper into the substance of life itself. In each moment is everything we have ever been and will become. And each moment is calling us to enter the fullness of life, to be gifts and to offer ourselves. “

After the sermon was the veneration of the cross, the dramatic entrance of the cross. The raising of the cross is slow but dramatic as it is raised and placed on the altar.   

The Veneration are three readings about the cross with anthem interludes about the cross. In 2024 they included  1. “Beneath the cross of Jesus” 2 “Jesus, keep me near the cross” 3. “Abide with Me” 4. “The old rugged cross”, 5. “When I survey the wondrous cross”.

After the veneration was the Musical Interlude. In 2018 we prayed at the altar for the light from Christ that we can share with the world. After praying each of us took a votive candle home to share the light. In 2024, it involved pouring wine into the chalice

The service concluded with the Lord’s Prayer and Concluding Prayer – “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgment and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and  grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you  live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”