The Gathering of the Community

The service begins in silence

Leader: All we like sheep have gone astray;

All: And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Leader: Christ the Lord became obedient unto death.

All: Even death on a cross

All: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned in thought and word and deed; we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.  We pray you of your mercy, forgive us all that is past, and grant that we may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your name. Amen.


Almighty God,
look graciously, we pray, on this your family,
for whom our Lord Jesus Christ
was willing to be betrayed
and given into the hands of sinners,
and to suffer death upon the cross;
who now lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Proclamation of the Word

First Reading: Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12

Psalm 22: Plea for Deliverance from Suffering and Hostility

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
    and by night but find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
    they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not human,
    scorned by others and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they sneer at me; they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
    let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”
Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
    you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.
10 On you I was cast from my birth,
    and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls encircle me;
    strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13 they open wide their mouths at me,
    like a ravening and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
    it is melted within my breast;
15 my mouth[a] is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
    you lay me in the dust of death.
16 For dogs are all around me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
they bound my hands and feet.[b]
17 I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my clothes among themselves,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.

Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9

Hymn: Blue #522 Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me

The Passion According to St. John


Hymn: Blue #184 My Song is Love Unknown

The Solemn Intercession

Leader: Dear people of God, 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 eternal life.

Let us pray for the one holy catholic and apostolic Church of Christ throughout the world: for its unity in witness and service, for its patience and hope when many congregations cannot meet, for all bishops and other ministers and the people whom they serve, for Andrew our bishop, and all the people of this diocese, for all Christians in this community, for those about to be baptized (particularly . . . ), that the Lord will confirm his Church in faith, increase it in love, and preserve it in peace.


Almighty and everlasting God, by your Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified. Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in our vocation and ministry we may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us pray for all nations and peoples of the earth, and for those in authority among them: for Charles our King and all the Royal Family, for Justin the Prime Minister and for the government of this country, for Doug the premier of this province and the members of the legislature, for Olivia the mayor of this city. and those who serve with him on city council, for all who serve the common good; give them wisdom in a time difficult time and grant that by God’s help they may seek justice and truth, and live in peace and concord.


Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that justice and peace may increase, until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray for all who suffer and are afflicted in body or in mind: for the hungry and homeless, the destitute and the oppressed, and all who suffer persecution or prejudice, for the sick, the wounded, and the handicapped, and those who care for them, for health care workers in the face of many deaths, for those in loneliness, fear, and anguish, for those who face temptation, doubt, and despair, for the sorrowful and bereaved, for prisoners and captives and those in mortal danger, that God in his mercy will comfort and relieve them, and grant them the knowledge of his love, and stir up in us the will and patience to minister to their needs.


Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer, hear the cry of those in misery and need. In their afflictions show them your mercy, and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them, for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Leader: Let us commit ourselves to God, and pray for the grace of a holy life, that with all who have departed this life and have died in the peace of Christ, and those whose faith is known to God alone, we may be accounted worthy to enter into the fullness of the joy of our Lord, and receive the crown of life in the day of resurrection.


O God of unchangeable power and eternal light, look favourably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery. By the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation. Let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Veneration of the Cross

During the Meditation you are invited to pray before a cross in your home. It does not matter whether the cross is big or small; whether it is a palm cross or a wooden cross or a cross you have made. It is the sign of Jesus’ love for us.

Deacon: This is the wood of the cross, on which hung the Saviour of the world

All: Come let us worship

Anthem 1 (page 314 in the Book of Alternative Services)

Priest: We glory in your cross, O Lord,
People: And praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
For by virtue of your cross joy has come to the whole world.
Priest: O Saviour of the world, by your cross and precious
blood you have redeemed us.
People: Save us and help us, we humbly beseech you,
O Lord.

Hymn: Blue #192 Were You There

Leader: And now, as our Saviour Christ has taught us, we are bold to say:

All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Concluding Prayer

Leader: Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,

All: We pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgement 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.

Leader: Send down your abundant blessing, Lord, upon your people who have devoutly recalled the death of your Son in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.  Grant us pardon; bring us comfort.  May our faith grow stronger and our eternal salvation be assured.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.


St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Riverdale,

135 First Avenue, Toronto ON, M4M 1W9



The Rev Dr Catherine Sider-Hamilton – Priest-in-charge: 416-463-9720 

Please direct all enquiries to William Middleton, People’s Warden or Audrey Chan, Rector’s Warden

Catherine Sider Hamilton

Catherine Sider Hamilton

Catherine Sider Hamilton is Priest-in-Charge of St. Matthew's Riverdale, and Professor of New Testament and New Testament Greek (part-time) at Wycliffe College. She has served also as Chaplain at Havergal College and Associate Priest at Grace Church on-the-Hill and St. John the Baptist, Norway (Toronto). She enjoys singing around the piano with her kids, her husband's Indian food, all things Italian -- and above all her two little grandchildren. Catherine and David live in Greektown. She blogs occasionally on feasts and fasts at