The despised suffering one
TiS 356 / CH385 / Cha 203 Here hangs a man discarded (Wren). Beautiful and powerful words to a very well known tune (SHRUB END). Lyrics (first verse only)
TiS 345 / AHB 261 / AoV1-103 / NCH229 / UMH288 / VU144 / LBW81 / ELW353 / HPP185 / HPSS102 / G(II)302 / GC416 / GC(II)438 / CP192 Were you there when they crucified my Lord? A classic - well known, beautiful to sing and listen to. Lyrics and sound sample.
Tune In: A grain of wheat (Sheree Anderson) A more upbeat song for Good Friday, but it could be sung more reflectively if you would like. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook available here.
Tune In: In the shape of a cross (Dave Brown) A cry to God for help. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook available here.
Tune In: Our God who weeps (Kate Scull) Very simple folk-like tune and challenging and hopeful lyrics. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook available here.
Crying out to God. A Psalm of suffering.
VU146 / SFFS 2106 / HPP183 / HPSS312 When Jesus wept (Billings) I like this simple, and very well known round. The words are pretty amazing for Good Friday. It’s also written by my favourite shape note hymn writer!
Tune In: Save us in the time of trial Reflective taize-style chorus and verses. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook available here.
MV073 / LBW320 / ELW632 / GC(II)570 O God Why Are You Silent? (Haugen) Excellent seeking words expressing grief and fear and the absence of God. Sung to the familiar PASSION CHORALE. Lyrics, sample sheet music. Music sample.
HPSS168 Lord Why Have You Forsaken Me (Conditor Alme Siderum) Simple and honest lyrics. A paraphrase of the psalm to a modified Gregorian chant tune.
VU744 / G(II)28 / GC29 / GC(II)22 My God My God O why have you abandoned me? (Haugen) Simple chant and good cantor lines. Sample sheet music. Sound sample.
CH537 / AA147 We do not hope to ease our minds (Barrell) Excellent words of standing with the crucified Christ against injustice. A number of different tunes are offered. I do not have a copy of Alleluia Aotearoa which has two possible tunes. MARY MORISON is the tune in Church Hymnary 4, and it is very straightforward.
Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
God’s new covenant, our new confidence, Christ as high priest.
TiS 529 / AHB 598 By your priestly power O risen Lord Formal and beautiful words from James McAuley. This would work well if some of the bread from Thursday remains on the communion table. The responsive chant could also be used on its own “By your priestly power O risen Lord, All we lost and needed is restored. God in our communion be adored”
Worldmaking.net O Christ, Lamb of God An updated Kyrie. Lyrics and sound sample here.
TiS 259 / Iona (Love From Below) Among us and before us Lord you stand (Bell). Good words. The set tune (GATEHOUSE) will need to be taught. It can also be sung to SURSUM CORDA. Lyrics (downloads a word document).
The long story of Jesus’ arrest, betrayal and crucifixion
TiS 340 / AHB 256 Before the cock crew twice This storytelling song uses words from the 17th century. The tune is a little tricky, but it could work very well if sung by a soloist (even unaccompanied if you have a brave soloist!).
ATA 135 / VU132 Bitter was the night (Carter) Lyrics based on Peter's denial of Christ. Lyrics (scroll down).
Online resource: I will drink the cup (Harding) A simple 4 part chant. Available here.
Iona (Common Ground, M&G, T1AU) / CH805 / MV151 / StJ / R257 / ELW741 / G(II)416 / GC592 / URW440 Your will be done on earth, O Lord / Mayenziwe 'ntando yakho (South African - Xhosa) This is a really good South African song, simple to sing, beautiful harmonies and would work well for reflection for Good Friday, sung slowly. Maybe it could even be sung in a minor key? Sound sample.
TiS 730 / AoV1-152 / ATOK 387 / CH775 / UMH488 / WoV740 / ELW616 / HPP214 / HPSS599 / G(II)293 / GC404 / GC(II)422 Jesus remember me (Berthier)
Taize / GA331 / GC421 / RS 567 All You Who Pass this Way (Taize) Simple chant and cantored verses. Keyboard sound ample, lyrics and sample sheet music.
AoV2-048 See His Hands (Sears) Excellent. Simple. Crucifixion focus, but not morbid.
FFS08 Broken the body (Murray / Bray). Good words of a broken body of Christ and a broken Church seeking healing, unity and courage.
GA511 I walked through the lonely streets (Bell) Good Friday Contemporary reproaches. Very challenging words.
FFS70 What have we done to you? (Murray) Good Friday Tricky tune. Would be good to have musicians present this the first time.
FFS79 Who will carry the cross for me? (Bennett) Simple tune, and good questioning words about who will walk the hard road with Christ.
ATA 171 Dying You destroyed our death (Boucher) Simple chant for Good Friday.
Iona / VU881 / GA510 When the son of God was dying (Bell) This song has lots of words, which I don't generally like during a more reflective service, but maybe you like that, and these words are quite good. Tune is pretty straightforward.
Adoration of the Cross
If this is a tradition in your congregation, here are some songs that could work well.
GA305 / GC396 / GC(II)400 / RS542 / CP338 Adoramus Te Christe (Haugen) It's really nice. Might be good to some musicians singing this quietly on Good Friday. The Refrain is a canon which could work on its own. Lyrics and sheet music sample. Sound sample (maybe a little energetic for my liking).
CH750 Adoramus te Domine Deus (Rizza) A fairly simple chant which would be good for an entire congregation to sing.
Taize / URW389 O Christe domine Jesu (Berthier) The very simplest, and best known song for this purpose. Very simple, haunting chant. Cantor verses over the top add more beauty, but are not neccessary. Sheet music and lyrics.
GA329 O my people what have I done (Lundy) This song is pretty incredible. The tune is very straightforward, but I'm not sure how you would use it. It's really about the veneration of the cross and Christ's suffering. Not a very popular theme, but important and I think this would work well if you choose to focus on that.