Friday, April 22, 2011

Holy Week - Good Friday

It's hard to believe that Lent is almost over! Last night's Holy Thursday service was just beautiful and I felt blessed to be there with my son and daughter-in-law. In only one more day Angela will be baptized!!!!! The weather here today is typical of Good Friday. It is raining and thundering. I always thought it was appropriate to have this kind of weather on Good Friday and then let the sun shine tomorrow and Sunday!!!

Tonight we are going to attend a Tenebrae service. This will be the first year that St. Lawrence has had this type of service. Here's what Father Eric had to say about it in the bulletin:

Catholic Faith Facts
By Father Eric Underwood

Q. What does the Tenebrae service represent in
Holy Week?

A. Tenebrae originated on Good Friday and is the
Latin word meaning ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness.’ In a
darkened Church, scripture is read, prayers are
prayed, hymns are sung – all while candles are being
extinguished. The final candle left lit is the Christ
candle (Paschal candle) and it is then carried out of
the Church resulting in utter darkness.
From this, we experience the darkness of a life
without Christ. It is also a healthy reminder of
Jesus’ death and the time prior to the Resurrection.

On Good Friday, we commemorate the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. No Mass is celebrated on Good Friday; instead, the Church celebrates a special liturgy in which the account of the Passion according to the Gospel of John is read, a series of intercessory prayers (prayers for special intentions) are offered, and the faithful venerate the Cross by coming forward and kissing it. The Good Friday liturgy concludes with the distribution of Holy Communion . Since there was no Mass, Hosts that were reserved from the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday are distributed instead. Good Friday is the Friday within Holy Week, and is traditionally a time of fasting and penance, commemorating the anniversary of Christ's crucifixion and death. For Christians, Good Friday commemorates not just a historical event, but the sacrificial death of Christ, which with the resurrection, comprises the heart of the Christian faith.

We also have a service for the Stations of the Cross, also called the "Way of the Cross," on Good Friday. This is a devotion in which fourteen events surrounding the death of Jesus are commemorated. Most Catholic Churches have fourteen images of Jesus' final days displayed throughout the parish, for use in public Stations of the Cross services.

Veneration of the Cross:

I did not realize until I was reading information for this post, that as a Catholic you must venerate a crucifx not only a cross. This clearly echoes that we do not worship a mere cross, but the Person who died on the Holy Cross.

The difference: A cross is the wooden structure on which people were crucified (put to death by nailing them to it by their hands and feet). Many churches and Christians display the empty cross as a symbol of remembrance both for Christ's suffering upon it, and of the resurrection.

A crucifix is a cross which has the image of the dying or dead Christ on it.

One by one, those attending the service come up an venerate the cross in the manner of thier choosing, some kissing it, some embracing it, some touching it with with their hands, others kneeling or prostrating before it.

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