Good Friday 2008
After the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, Mass is not celebrated again until Easter. Its place is taken on Good Friday by what is commonly called the Good Friday Liturgy.
Even in its revised (1955) form it archaic in form. It preserves some long disused features of the Mass or Holy Eucharist such as its abrupt commencement and the Solemn Collects. In 2008, we used the modified form contain in the 1967 edition of the Scottish Episcopal Church's Lent and Holy Week Liturgy which we discovered was not wholly satisfactory.
The first part of the Good Friday Liturgy closely resembles the first part of the Eucharist. It opens with a prayer, followed by an Old Testament lesson, a chant called the Tract, the Collects for Good Friday, the Epistle, Ps. 140, and the Passion according to St John. This is followed with the nine solemn collects and a series of quotations mainly from the Old Testament prophets called The Reproaches. The Liturgy then moves on the unveiling and veneration of the Cross.
Unveiling of the Cross
At the end of the Reproaches, the cross is brought in an unveiled. The priest says or chants "Behold, the wood of the Cross" three times as the Cross is slowly revealed.
Traditionally, the priest begins the veneration by approaching the cross, genflecting three times as he does so. He then kneels and kisses the cross.
After the Good Friday Liturgy
After the veneration of the Cross there was a short address. Unlike the Roman Catholic Rite, the Anglican version does not have to end with a Communion service or the old Mass of the Presanctified in 1955. In my opinion, the Communion has to be the least satisfactory element in the revised Holy Week services. The church stands, as it were, untenanted until the Easter Vigil. The Offices will be said, but there will be no Eucharist until the Easter Vigil.