Good Friday is the most solemn day of the year. This is the day when we remember Christ’s passion and death on the cross for us.
There is no Mass today. However we will gather for a Communion service and to venerate the Holy Cross at 1:00 PM. There will also be an abbreviated service at 7:00 PM for those unable to attend in the afternoon.
We also fast and refrain from eating meat today since Jesus sacrificed his flesh for us on Good Friday. Traditionally, meat was more expensive and only eaten during times of feasting and rejoicing.
Julianne Wallace from Busted Halo has created a guide for each day of the Triduum to help you walk and pray through the liturgies.
Good Friday: Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion
In this solemn celebration, we remember the Passion and Death of Our Lord. The service is marked by several important rituals including the proclaiming of the Passion according to John, the Veneration of the Cross, an extended form of General Intercessions, and finally, the distribution of Communion (reserved from the Holy Thursday celebration of the Eucharist).
The Veneration of the Cross
It seems strange that in the Good Friday liturgy Catholics choose to venerate, or show reverence to, the very instrument that was used to crucify Jesus. The Veneration of the Cross reminds us that through this Cross, the Glory of the resurrection emerges. So, on Good Friday, we come forward to show our great reverence and respect for the Cross. People have various traditions when they approach the Cross. Sometimes they kiss the Cross, kneel before the Cross, or even just touch it in some fashion. As you participate in this ritual, venerate the Cross in whatever way feels most normal. And most of all, just take in the experience of the gathered community coming so close to such a tragic, but integral, event in our faith.
The General Intercessions
If you enjoy spiritual aerobics, then this ritual is for you! In this expanded form of General Intercessions, the presider and the deacon work together to pray 10 intercessions. These intercessions are the same intercessions the entire Church prays on Good Friday, and they include praying for the Holy Church, praying for the unity of all Christians, praying for the Jewish people, praying for people who do not believe in Christ or in God, praying for people in public office, and praying for people who are suffering or facing difficult times. These prayers recognize how universal our Church is and that we should be aware of all of the faiths and traditions in the world that are different from our own.
Reflection questions for Good Friday:
What does the death of Jesus mean to me?
What does it mean to “Glory in the Cross”?
Join us for Good Friday Service in person at 1:00 PM or online at www.gbres.org/live, our YouTube channel, or our Facebook page.
Resurrection will also offer an abbreviated service at 7:00 PM for those unable to attend this afternoon.
Readings for Today's Service
Virtual Triduum Retreats
Resurrection is offering three virtual presentations to help disciples reflect on the most sacred days in our Church year - The Easter Triduum.
Presented by Dr. Vanessa White Associate Professor of Spirituality and Ministry,
Catholic Theological Union in Chicago
Observing Good Friday in Your Church of the Home
Do not let Good Friday go by as just any other day of the year. Take time to contemplate all that Christ’s death on the cross signifies for us.
Here are a few ideas to help you focus on the meaning of today:
Attend Good Friday Service with your parish family.
Observe the obligatory day of fasting and abstinence as required by the Church - no more than one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. Also fast from bread as a reminder of the Bread of Life.
Shut off unnecessary content on TV, computer, and social media for the day.
Avoid shopping or other errands that will distract you from the meaning of the day.
Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. Helpful link: The Sorrowful Mysteries without Distractions
Make an effort to be quiet from noon to 3:00 pm the hours in which Christ suffered on the Cross.
If there is anyone in your life that you need to offer forgiveness to, forgive them today.
Venerate the Cross either in your own home or in a Church.
Reflect on the Seven Last Words of Christ
Christ said very little when he was betrayed. He did not attempt to defend himself, but “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).
With so little said, Christ’s last seven words hold weight. A Jesuit priest in the 17th century is said to have started this devotion and it has become a well-loved tradition since. We contemplate not on a single word but these last seven statements said. Today, set some time aside to meditate on his precious words as written by Shemaiah Gonzalez of Catholic News Service.
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).
The soldiers who led Christ to the cross cast lots for his clothes, an unseemly “bonus” for their work. Even in the midst of his own suffering, Christ offered prayers for his tormentors, aware they were unknowingly fulfilling Scripture (Ps 22:18-19). Christ offers forgiveness even in his own pain.
Open our hearts to offer forgiveness when we are wronged.
Who do I find it impossible to forgive?
How can I overcome this feeling?
“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23:43).
Two criminals are crucified on either side of Christ. One hurls insults at Christ but the other recognizes him for who he is. “Remember me” he calls out. Christ reassures the believer that he will be with him in paradise. Again, Christ offers forgiveness and compassion.
Teach us to comfort those around us.
Who is someone who is lonely and hurting that I can comfort this week? How can I do it?
“Woman, behold, your son. … Behold, your mother” (Jn 19:26-27).
Christ sees his mother, Mary, at the foot of the cross. He presents John the beloved disciple as her son, and to John, Mary as his mother. By this time, Mary was most likely a widow. Christ, as Mary’s firstborn son, was legally responsible for providing food and shelter for her. His death would have left her vulnerable, financially and emotionally. Some of Christ’s last words are to care for his mother.
Move us to compassion to see the needs of others.
What is something kind I can do for my mother this week?
What are ways that I make my family members proud of me?
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46 and Mk 15:34).
The weight of the sin of the world has been placed on Christ and in this moment, he is completely abandoned by God, the Father. Sin separates us from the holy. Christ experienced that for us. The intimate relationship with God the Father he had his entire life was lost. The words used to convey the devastation of this abandonment is another fulfilment of Scripture in the language from Psalm 22.
Enlighten our hearts to the intimate relationship you desire for us.
What is the greatest obstacle to my faith? Write a prayer that asks God for help with this challenge.
“I thirst” (Jn 19:28).
These words of Christ remind us that not only was he fully God, which he showed by his ultimate forgiveness, but he was also fully man. Someone soaks a sponge in cheap wine and offers it to Christ on a hyssop stalk. Even though he had been battered, a crown of thorns pressed into his skull, nails hammered into his hands and feet, this is the only time he vocalizes his physical suffering. We will never know the pain he experienced on the cross, but we have experienced thirst. His words ground us in his human experience.
May we thirst for your living water.
What is something right that I thirst for?
How can I avoid thirsting for what is wrong?
“It is finished” (Jn 19:30).
Christ isn’t just saying his suffering is nearly over, death is upon him, but that his mission is complete. He had completed what he came to do, to lay down his own life, a ransom for the sins of all humanity so that we would no longer be separated from God. His words are one of ultimate surrender.
Reveal what I need to surrender to you.
What are major commitments I have made for my life? How can I better follow through on those commitments?
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46).
The curtain in the Temple dividing the holy place and the holy of holies has been torn in half. That which kept us from God has been destroyed. Christ had been obedient to the Father, even till the end. Christ’s words clearly convey that this act was one of his own free will.
May obedience to you be our greatest desire.
What is the hardest thing in my life to let go of?
What are other things that keep me from following the Lord?