Good  Friday

This  day    is   known   as  Good   Friday   because   Christians  throughout  the  world  commemorate  the  crucifixion  of  Jesus  and   believe   that   He    gave   up   his   life   for   the good   of   everyone. It   is   the   second   day   of   the   Easter   Triduum.  

 

In  the   Catholic   Church,   Good    Friday    is   a    day   of    strict   fasting    and   abstinence.    Catholics   over   the age    of    18 and     under   the   age   of   60   are   required   to   fast,   which   means   that   they   can   eat   only one   complete   meal   and   two   smaller   ones   during   the   day,   with   no   food   in   between.   Catholics   who are   over   the   age   of   14   are   required   to   refrain   from   eating   any   meat,   or   any   food   made   with meat,   on   Good   Friday.                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The   Good   Friday    Service  usually  begins  at  3pm  in the  afternoon.

 

                                                                                   

The   liturgy   on   this   day    has   three   parts:    the Liturgy   of   the   Word,    the   Veneration   of   the   Cross,  and   the   Service   of   Communion.    The   service   on   Good   Friday   is   particularly   solemn  and   there are  no  flowers  or  decorations  on  the  main  altar.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Good   Friday   is   kept   as   an   aliturgical   day,   that   is   one   on   which   we   do   not   celebrate   Mass.  The Eucharist   that   is   received   on   Good   Friday   was   consecrated   a   day   earlier   at   the   Holy   Thursday liturgy.   It  is   one   of   the   few    days   in   the   year   that   Mass  in its  entirety  is   not   celebrated.

 

During   the   Good   Friday   services   there  is  an  opportunity  for  the  Veneration  of  the  Cross   which  honours the great sacrifice Jesus made for  us.  

 

At   the   end   of   the   Good   Friday   service   people  are  requested  to  depart  in   silence.

The   altar   is   left   bare   and   the   lectionary    moved    to    the    side. 

 

The   Crucifixion   is   remembered   in   Jerusalem   even   today.   Large   crowds   of   Christians   take   the   same path   as   Jesus.   In    some   countries   people   act   out   the   story   of   Jesus'   last   day   while   others   watch and   think   about   the   events   which   happened   long   ago.

 

The  eight    golden   mosaic shields  on the   main altar in St Patrick’s  Church  show  images relating to the Crucifixion of Jesus.

We   see    the   crown   of   thorns,    the   hammer  and  the  nails,  the  whip   and    the  pillar,   the  hyssop  stick ,  and  the  spear  which   pierced   the   side   of   Jesus.  Featured    also  is  the  seamless  garment  and  if  you  look  really  closely  you can see the  dice.  

 

"They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment."

 

We see  these  images  every   time  we  visit  St  Patrick’s , but   during   Holy  Week  they  have a special relevance for everyone.

 

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