The Civic and Parish Church of Bournemouth

Good Friday Webcast Service

Welcome to these Good Friday devotions.  We are very grateful to the Right Reverend Edward Holland, who is an Assistant Bishop in both the London Diocese and the Diocese of Europe, for leading our online reflections today.

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. 

The Proclamation of The Cross: 

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.  

We despised and rejected him; he endured suffering and pain. He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. 

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. 

Good Friday 2020:  Bishop Edward Holland

I want us to imagine that we are at the foot of the cross.   We are standing with all the others – a mixed crowd.   Jesus’s Mother Mary and the other women with her; the disciples and other followers; his friends.

And then his enemies, those who want rid of him and those obeying orders – the soldiers and other officials, together with the curious and those who want the excitement of a public execution.  And with them we wait and we watch.   This broken, dying man.

Despite all the noise and disorder surrounding him there is in Jesus a deep quietness and stillness.

We have the cross before us and we wait and look we can become conscious that as we look at him so he is looking at us – how does this dying and death affect us, where do we stand?

Jesus has reached the end.   There is no more choosing to be done, he has given himself fully and completely to the human race; to the Jewish people but to all of us.

He gave his life long ago – at his baptism and probably long before that.   Indeed he was given by Mary at his circumcision and has given himself again and again throughout his life and ministry until that last final gift at his entry into Jerusalem – that was when the die was cast, though confirmed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

And now in the final surrender of himself into the hands of the human race to do with as they wish, he is giving himself completely and utterly to us – and that is what we see as we look.   The love of God lived out in a human life – and death…

But like many gifts it contains a commitment which is also an invitation.   The gift he offers to us is actually God’s gift – it always is – God’s love and purpose for us.   God in Christ commits himself to us, to love us always whatever the situation.   But to receive that gift we also need to make a commitment, to live our lives – as far as we can – God does not expect the impossible – to live our lives as far as we can as Jesus lived his in the light of the Father’s love, promised to him and through him to us all, at his baptism.   Jesus lived a human life in response to that promise of God.

As Jesus looks at us, while hanging there before our eyes, as he looks at us he hopes and prays that we will each and all of us receive that gift and live with it, live with the love that he lived with, the love of the Father.

Jesus is and has been throughout his life God the Father’s gift to us.   But he also gives himself to the Father on our behalf and the question is whether we can make Jesus’ gift our own gift to the Father.

Are we merely curious, merely onlookers, merely going through a ritual process or can we make that gift our own?

The gift of Jesus is not conditional – it is not saying, if you will love me I will love you, but, rather: I will love you whatever.   However, you react to my life and death – I will, and will always, love you.

So let us in silence and stillness wait for Jesus, the Christ, speak to us not so much with his lips as with his heart – he literally bleeds for us – he longs for us to know and live with the love of God – the love that lives in Jesus despite everything, despite even his dying and his death.

We look and listen to hear him speak to us with his love as we remain with him at the foot of the cross.

A Prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ, 

we thank you

that as you have lived and died 

for love of the Father and for us

even to the point of death on a cross,

we pray that through the gift of the Holy Spirit

we may be enabled to live

with that same love for the Father 

And for all humankind that we see in you

In your name and to the glory of the Father.

So we pray.   Amen


Let us pray to the Father, who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to give us life. Simon from Cyrene was forced to carry the cross for your Son.      Give us grace to lift heavy loads from those we meet and to stand with those condemned to die. 

Lord, hear us. / Lord, graciously hear us.  

Your Son watched the soldiers gamble to share his clothes.    Transform the hearts of those who make a profit from their victims, and those whose hearts are hardened by their work.

 Lord, hear us. / Lord, graciously hear us.  

The thief, who was crucified with Jesus, was promised a place in your kingdom.  

 Give pardon and hope, healing and peace to all who look death in the face. 

Lord, hear us. / Lord, graciously hear us.  

From the cross Jesus entrusted Mary his mother and John his disciple to each other’s care.   Help us also to care for one another and fill our homes with the spirit of your love. 

Lord, hear us. / Lord, graciously hear us.  

In Mary and John your Son created a new family at the cross.    Fill our relationships, and those of new families today, with mutual care and responsibility, and give us a secure hope for the future. Lord, hear us. / Lord, graciously hear us.  

The centurion was astonished to see your glory in the crucified Messiah.   Open the eyes of those who do not know you to see in your Son the meaning of life and death. 

Lord, hear us. / Lord, graciously hear us. 

Joseph of Arimathaea came to take your Son’s body away.  Give hope and faith to the dying and bereaved, and gentleness to those who minister to them. 

Lord, hear us. / Lord, graciously hear us. 

 Simon and Joseph, Mary and John became part of your Church in Jerusalem.   Bring into your Church today a varied company of people, to walk with Christ in the way of his passion and to find their salvation in the victory of his cross. 

Lord of the Church:  / Hear our prayer and make us one in heart and mind to serve you in Christ our Lord.  Amen

 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. 

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. 

 O Saviour of the world, who by your cross and precious blood have redeemed us:  Save us and help us, we humbly pray. 

Kneeling at the foot of the cross, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray: 

Our Father, who art in heaven, 

hallowed be your name, 

your kingdom come,  your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  

Give us today our daily bread. 

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  

For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and for ever. 


Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved humankind: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross, we may triumph in the power of his victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.