Three Hours' Agony

Front page of the Devocion a las tres horas by P. Alonso Messia SJ.

The Three Hours' Agony (also known as the Tre Ore, The Great Three Hours, or Three Hours' Devotion) is a Christian service held in some Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Methodist churches on Good Friday from noon till 3 o'clock to commemorate the three hours of Christ's hanging at the cross.[1]

It may include meditation on the seven sayings of Jesus on the cross,[2] and usually occurs between noon and 3PM (at which time the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion begins),[1] and sometimes between 6PM and 9PM.[3]

The Jesuit priest Alphonsus Messia (died 1732) is said to have devised this devotion in Lima, Peru. It was introduced to Rome around 1788 and spread around the world to many Christian denominations.[1] In 1815, Pope Pius VII decreed a plenary indulgence to those who practise this devotion on Good Friday.[4]


  1. ^ a b c The United Methodist Book of Worship: Regular Edition Black. United Methodist Publishing House. 2016. p. 365. ISBN 9781426735004.
  2. ^ Sermons on the Three Hours’ Agony at
  3. ^ Divozione alle tre ore dell'agonia di Gesù Cristo nostro redentore...
  4. ^ Raccolta - Jesus Crucified

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.

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