Christians commemorate the day of Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified, to glorify and give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our salvation. Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane with the sorrow of His coming persecution but accepted the will of the Father, saying “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
Let us praise and honor the gift of eternal life Christ has bestowed to mankind through His loving sacrifice on the cross!
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” ~ Romans 5:6-10
10 Hymns for Good Friday
Here we have gathered ten traditional Christian hymns related to Good Friday and Jesus on the cross for praising and rejoicing in Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. Let us sing our thanks to the Lord full-heartedly and remember to live by faith in Him! Also, find a Spotify playlist at the end of this article to listen to at your convenience. May God bless you this Good Friday and Easter season!
Click the hymn titles below to find the full lyrics, background story, and more performances for each song.
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
When I survey the wondrous Cross On which the Prince of Glory died, My richest Gain I count but Loss, And pour Contempt on all my Pride.
Praise Him, Praise Him!
Praise Him! Praise him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth – His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory, Strength and honor give to His holy name!
Are You Washed in the Blood?
Are you washed in the blood, In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Jesus Paid It All
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.
The Old Rugged Cross
So I’ll cherish the old rugged Cross Till my trophies, at last, I lay down I will cling to the old rugged Cross And exchange it some day for a crown
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus
O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus.
How Great Thou Art
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
Be Thou My Vision
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; naught be all else to me, save that thou art, thou my best thought, by day or by night; waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
For this one, we found a beautiful instrumental version with lyrics for you to sing yourself with family and friends!
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.
Hymns and Songs Appropriate for Good Friday
A selection of hymns and songs, based on themes from the Roman Catholic lectionary for the Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion.
Most are free-to-use, ie public domain or copyright-free, meaning the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing. Many of these hymns are old/traditional – but where possible a variety of styles / genres are included.
A small list of particularly-relevant hymns that are still copyright is also included.
The service of the Lord’s Passion is the second day of the Easter Triduum, which starts with Holy Thursday and ends with the Easter Vigil on Saturday night.
Many of these hymns could also be used for Stations of the Cross.
First: Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 – As the crowds were appalled on seeing him … like a sapling he grew in front of us … a man of sorrows … yet ours were the sufferings he bore.
Psalm: 30 – Father into your hands I commend my spirit / In you O Lord I take refuge / In the face of my foes / I trust in you Lord / Let your face shine on your servant.
Second: Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 -In Jesus we have the supreme High Priest, who learnt to obey through suffering. Gospel:John 18:1 – 19:42 – The Passion: Jesus leaving he garden, telling the soldiers he was the one being looked for, arrested, denied three times by Peter, taken before the High Priest and then Pilate, crucified, handing Mary into John’s care, dying, having his side pierced, being laid in the tomb.
Jesus suffering and death.
Ahh, Holy Jesus, How has Thou Offended?
All ye who Seek a Comfort Sure
At the Cross her Station Keeping
Faithful Cross the Saints Rely On
Glory be to Jesus
Go to Dark Gethsemane
Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley
Let all that is Within Me Cry “Holy”
My God I Love Thee
My Song is Love Unknown
O Come and Mourn with Me Awhile
O Cross of Christ, Immortal Tree (omit the last verse)
O Sacred Head Sore Wounded
On the Holy Cross I See
Praise to the Holiest in the Heights
Sing my Tongue the Glorious Battle
The Regal Dark Mysterious Cross
The Royal Banners Forward Go
There is a Green Hill Far Away
Were you There when They Crucified my Lord
What Wondrous Love
When I Survey the Wonderous Cross
When Jesus Wept – Billings (ref)
HYMNS THAT MAY STILL BE COPYRIGHT
Above All – Baloche
All You Who Pass this Way – Taizé
Behold the Cross – Hurd (ref)
Calvary – Watt (ref)
Crucem Tuam – Taizé
From the Wounds of Christ – Zaragosa (ref)
In Manus Tuas, Pater – Taize (ref)
Lift High the Cross
Jesus Remember Me – Taizé
My Soul is Sad – Leftley
No Greater Love – Schoenbachler (ref)
O Jesus Crucified – McAuley (ref)
O Sacred Head Ill-Used – Knox
The Lord is Now Exalted – Stotter (ref)
The Reproaches: settings by Andersen, Lundy – and there are many others
The Seven Last Words from the Cross – Quigley (ref)
We Acclaim the Cross of Jesus – Siwek
When the Son of God was Dying – Bell
Wood of the Cross – Alstott (ref)
Hymns for Good Friday
Most of these songs can be found with melodies at the CyberHymnal (www.hymntime.com/tch/)
“Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed,” words: Isaac Watts (1707); music: “Martyrdom” (without the refrain), Hugh Wilson (1800); with the refrain “At the Cross … where I first saw the light,” Ralph E. Hudson (1885).
“At Calvary” (“Years I spent in vanity and pride…”), words: William R. Newell (1895), music: Daniel B. Towner (1895)
“And Can It Be that I Should Gain?” words: Charles Wesley (1738), Music: “Sagina,” Thomas Campbell (1825)
“Are You Washed in the Blood?” words and music: Elisha A. Hoffman (1878)
“Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” words: Elizabeth C. Celphane (1868), music: “St. Christopher,” Frederick C. Maker (1881)
“Blessed Redeemer” (“Up Calvary’s mountain…”), words: Avis m. Christiansen (1920), music: Harry D. Loes
“Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain,” words: James Montgomery (1819), music: “Consolation,” Ludvig M. Lindeman (1871)
“Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy,” words: Joseph Hart (1759), music: “Restoration,” William Walker (1835)
“Down at the Cross” (“Glory to His Name”), words: Elisha A. Hoffman (1878), music: John H. Stockton (1878)
“Go to Dark Gethsemane,” words: James Montgomery (1820), music: “Redhead,” Richard Redhead (1853)
“Hallelujah! What a Savior,” words and music: Philip P. Bliss (1875)
“I Know a Fount,” words and music by Oliver Cooke (20th century)
“I Saw One Hanging on a Tree,” words: John Newton (1779), music: Edwin O. Excell (1917)
“I Stand Amazed in the Presence of Jesus the Nazarene,” words and music by Charles H. Gabriel (1905)
“In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” words: John Bowring (1825), music: Ithamar D. Conkey (1849)
“In the Hour of Trial,” words: James Montgomery (1834), music: “Penitence,” Spencer Lane (1874)
“Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley,” words and music: African-American spiritual
“Jesus Paid It All” (“I heard the Savior say…”), words: Elivina M. Hall (1865), music: John T. Grape
“Jesus, Priceless Treasure,” words: Johann Frank (1653), translated from German by Catherine Winkworth (1863), music: “Jesu Meine Fruede,” Johann Sebastian Bach (1723)
“Jesus, the Son of God” (“Do you know Jesus…,” “O sweet wonder …”), words and music: Garfield T. Haywood (c. 1914)
“Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness,” words: Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf (1739), translated from German by John Wesley (1740), music: “Germany,” William Gardiner (1815)
“Just As I Am,” words: Charlotte Elliott, music: William Batchelder Bradbury
“Lead Me to Calvary” (“Lest I forget Gethsemane…”), words: Jennie E. Hussey, music: William J. Kirkpatrick
“Nothing but the Blood” (“What can wash away my sin?…), words and music: Robert Lowry (1876)
“O Sacred Head Now Wounded,” words: attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1153), translated from Latin by James W. Alexander (1830), music: “Passion Chorale,” Hans L. Hassler (1601), harmony by Johann Sebastian Bach (1729)
“Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me,” words: Augustus M. Toplady (1776), music: “Toplady,” Thomas Hastings (1830)
“Savior, Thy Dying Love,” words: Sylvanus D. Phelps (1862), music: “Something for Jesus,” Robert Lowry (1871)
“The Old Rugged Cross” (“On a hill far away…”), words and music: George Bennard (1913)
“There Is a Green Hill Far Away,” words: Cecil F. Alexander (1847), music: “Green Hill,” Georg C. Stebbins
“There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood,” words: William Cowper (1772), music: “Cleansing Fountain,” 19th century American camp meeting tune
“‘Tis Midnight, and on Olive’s Brow,” words: William B. Tappan, music: “Olive’s Brow,” William B. Bradbury (1853)
“Where You There?” words and music: African-American spiritual
“What Wondrous Love Is This?” words: attributed to Alexander Means, music: William Walker (1835)
“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” words: Isaac Watts (1707), music: “Hamburg,” Lowell Mason (1824)
“Wounded for Me,” words: William G. J. Ovens (1869-1945) and Gladys Westcott Roberts, music: William G. J. Ovens
Words to most of these songs (and a portion of the tune) can be found in the fee-based Song Select service at CCLI.