The Tudor Society

Good Friday In Tudor times and today

Today, in the Western Christian Calendar, it's Good Friday - our new Ukrainian household members and my daughter-in-law celebrate it next week with the Orthodox Church - and I wanted to share with you how Good Friday was marked in Tudor times and also how it's marked here in Spain, where I live.

First, here's a talk I did a few years ago about the medieval and Tudor traditions associated with Good Friday.

In my talk, I mention photos Tim and I took of a passion play/re-enactment near where we live and you can see those in my 2017 article on Easter Sunday - click here. I also mention my village's procession and you can see photos of that at Good Friday in my village.

Here is the link to Stephanie Mann's excellent article Creeping to the Cross Before, During, and After the English Reformation. You can see my notes and sources at the bottom of this page.

Back in 2019, Tim and I got up extra early on Good Friday to go to the town at the bottom of our mountain to take part in the dawn Good Friday (Viernes Santo) procession.

This annual procession starts at the town church and makes its way up to "Calvario" (Calvary), the hill behind the town on which there is a big wooden cross. We process with a big statue of Jesus carrying his cross and also a replica of Jesus actually on the cross. As we make our way up the hill, we pause at each of the 12 stations of the cross for a reading and prayers. When we reach the cross, the replica of Jesus on the cross is hoisted up onto it. Later in the day, there is another service and procession when Jesus is taken down off the cross.

It is a beautiful and very moving procession, and I'm so glad that we got up for it.

If you do anything special for Good Friday then I'd love to hear about it - do leave a comment!

Notes and Sources

  • Ten Articles, “Of Rites and Ceremonies, The Church History of Britain: From the Birth of Jesus Christ until the Year MDCXLVIII, Volume 3, Thomas Fuller and Rev J S Brewer, p 157-8.
  • Letter and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume XIV, Part 1, 967.
  • LP xxi. i. 110.
  • Scarisbrick, J.J. (1976), Henry VIII, Methuen Publishing.
  • ""Would I Could Give You Help and Succour": Elizabeth I and the Politics of Touch", Carole Levin, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Summer 1989.
  • "James I: The Royal Touch", Stephen Brogan, History Today Volume 61 Issue 2 February 2011.
  • Calendar of State Papers, Venice, Volume VI, 473, Marco Antonio Faitta to Ippolito Chizzola Doctor in Divinity.

Only 1 comment so far Go To Comment

  1. M

    Thank you for the videos. Happy Easter. There isn’t anything here in my community. There’s an egg hunt for the little kids at various parks in the township. My church (Catholic) has things all Holy Week. On Tuesday there’s a choral Tenebrae. Its the stations of the cross, with music and sound effects. Its very nice. There’s a holy Thursday thing. On Good Friday, there’s adoration at the sacrament, and I think they do something at 3pm, but not sure what. On Saturday, masses for Easter start at 3or 4pm, due to being a large parish and Easter being their biggest turn out. Thank you for sharing. Michelle t

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Good Friday In Tudor times and today