Good Friday-30thMar, 2018
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Liturgy of Good FridayLiturgy of Good Friday
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Liturgy of Good Friday

The Good Friday liturgy is categorized into three parts – namely, the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion. This service is usually celebrated in the afternoon as a continuation of the Maundy Thursday liturgy and hence “silence” is observed in the beginning and also at the end. It starts with the Ministry of the Word, laying a special focus on the Passion story, the Solemn Intercession, followed by the meditation on the Cross of Jesus and then the Ministry of the Sacrament. Here the sections of Good Friday are discussed in details -

The Liturgy of the Word –

The clergymen come together with the ministers and assist them in maintaining complete silence, without any singing. The entire prostration is done in complete silence indicating the abasement of 'earthly man,' and also the sorrow and grief of the Church." The service then goes ahead for the ritual of Collect prayer, which means reading or chanting of Isaiah, Hebrews, and the Passion, readings from Gospel of John, which are customarily segregated in three deacons. The chants are done mainly by one celebrant, accompanied by one or two readers and singers. The congregation gathered there speaks the part of the "crowd".

Comprising mainly orations and solemnes, this part of the liturgy is actually a series of prayers for the Pope, the Church, the clergymen and laity of the Church, who are about to be baptized. The service also lays emphasis on enhancing the unity of Christians, the Jewish people, and also those people who do not believe in Christ, those in public office and people who are in special need. After each prayer objective, the deacon calls one of the followers to kneel and offer a short private prayer. The gathering then comes together and they pray with a Collect-style prayer.

The Veneration of the Cross –

This service is also called the Adoration of the Cross. The cross is the wooden panel with a crucifix, smaller in size and it is kept near the altar at other times of the year. It is solemnly unveiled and showed to the congregation, and then after being honored by them, the gathering one by one kisses the cross, while the hymns and the Improperia ("Reproaches") are chanted.

Holy Communion -

This is the final part of the mass and the Holy Communion is done following the respective rites. It starts with the Our Father, however it omits the ceremony of "Breaking of the Bread" and its associated hymn, the "Agnus Dei". At this service, The Eucharist, sanctified at the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday is distributed. Earlier only the priest and the service were called the "Mass of the Presanctified". This happened before the reform of Pope Pius XII and the service usually included the usual prayer offerings, placing the wine glass in the chalice; however it omitted the Canon of the Mass. The priest and the people then silently depart as the altar cloth is removed, keeping the altar bare only with the crucifix and two or four candlesticks.

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