Greetings in Christ!
I’m writing this on March 3rd, before I head out for a week off. Because of that, I obviously won’t be commenting on anything current. Instead, its my hope to use this and the next article to hype our upcoming Triduum Feasts at Sacred Heart and St. Mary. Last week, I posted on Holy Thursday and, this week, I want to walk us through Good Friday Service.
A couple notes before I walk us through the service…
Please welcome Fr. John Quinn, who will speak on behalf of Cross Catholic Outreach, which was founded to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Please be generous in your response to Father’s appeal.
Please join us in or Lenten Holy Hour of Adoration on Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00 pm. We will begin the Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration and Procession, followed by a homily and time for us to silently reflect on Jesus’ presence in our lives.
Our Good Friday Service for both our Parish Families will be at 3pm at Sacred Heart.
All the events of Good Friday are commemorated in the Stations of the Cross, the devotion we usually pray during Lent and especially on Good Friday. Another devotional, the Acts of Reparation, may also be prayed.
Good Friday is a day of fasting within the Church. Traditionally, there is no Mass and no celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday. A service will still be prayed with communion which will come from hosts consecrated on Holy Thursday. Baptism, penance, and anointing of the sick may be performed, but only in unusual circumstances. Church bells are silent and the altars are left bare.
Good Friday is the day where we place our Spiritual Focus on the suffering and death of Jesus. We recognize that our sins come with a terrible price and that Jesus paid that price willingly out of love for us. We pray that this day compels us to sorrow for our sins and a recognition of the love that drove Christ to such an incredible act. Our celebration this day is not a mass, it’s called our Good Friday Service or Service of the Passion of the Lord and we will start it at 3pm, in honor of the moment in time that Jesus died.
This service begins in silence, with the clergy laying prostrate before the cross. It continues with a reading from Scriptures and perhaps a homily that focuses on the role of suffering and loss in our life, as well as that of sin. We then will pray a special set of prayers, asking God’s blessings and mercy on all areas of our world and Church. Next, we adore the cross with a sign of reverence: some will kiss the cross, some will embrace it. The key is for us to show our gratitude for the means that God saved us.
Finally, we will bring the Blessed Sacrament out from the place of reservation and all who are not prohibited can come forward to receive. The service ends in silence.
This is a prayerful and amazing service and I cannot encourage us strongly enough to make it our highest priority: thanking Jesus for what He’s done for us and walking through His passion with him.
This year, we will also experience “Tenebrae”, which will be held at 8pm at St. Mary on the Lake on Good Friday. Tenebrae is a church service observed during the final part of Holy Week commemorating the sufferings and death of Christ.
May Jesus bless our Lenten efforts!