A Passion Play for Good Friday

Gordon Graham


ISBN-13: 9781606741061



Purchase price includes permission to reproduce copies for all participants

Total pages: 17

This Passion Play is designed for worship on Good Friday. It intersperses the Passion Narrative prescribed for that day by the Revised Common Lectionary (John 18:1-19:42) with short dramatic scenes, Passiontide anthems, solos and congregational hymns. In churches where there is no choir, all the music can be sung by the congregation and/or solo voices. The aim is to engage as wide variety of people as possible (including children) in the observance of Good Friday. There are roles for clergy, readers, choir, soloists, acolytes, actors and congregation. It concludes with the Collect for the Day, and can be followed by the Book of Common Prayer service of Solemn Collects, 

Anthems and Communion from the Reserved Sacrament. The narratives from John are read from the normal reading desk. The Choir sings from its normal position. The Court Room scenes take place around the stripped altar. The Procession to Calvary starts from the back of the church, and the wooden cross is placed before the altar. Where Veneration of the Cross is customary, this may take place in silence at the end of this procession rather than its normal liturgical position.

Cast of Characters (16+)

  • Five narrators
  • Court Official 
  • Judge
  • Two disciples
  • Four Witnesses
  • Three Citizens
  • Roman Soldiers (optional)
  • Choir
  • Soloists
  • Organ
  • Piano
  • Drum
  • Cello

Time Length: 1 hour approximate

Age Level: Older children, youth, adults


Gordon Graham is Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Associate Priest of St David’s Episcopal Church, Cranbury, New Jersey. Over many years he has been involved in writing and producing Christian verse, music and drama for use by church groups both within liturgical contexts and independently. He is also the author of several books on topics in ethics, philosophy and religion.


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