Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 30; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42
Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai
This celebration should take place in the mid-afternoon (3pm) as this corresponds to the time when Jesus arrived at Calvary to be crucified. This is the only day mass is not celebrated in the Church. The celebration begins with a silent procession to the sanctuary, and ends with a silent movement to the Sacristy. The silence reminds us of the importance of day and how death was defeated.
The Liturgy of the Word is followed by the Solemn Intercessions (we are reminded to pray for healing for all victims of COVID 19 and Restoration of our world)
The Veneration of the Cross. The Veneration begins with the presentation of the Cross to the people before each person present goes forward to kiss the Cross as the sign of salvation (this veneration is omitted this year or only by the priest due to the present situation COVID 19) Afterwards the Cross is then placed in a prominent position before the people as a reminder to them of what their sins have bought.
Holy Communion: The celebration concludes with the Holy Communion after which the people leave in silence.
Isaiah in our first reading speaks of the Suffering Servant, who suffered and died for our sake. The Psalm takes up this theme and added that this servant places his trust in God. The second reading sees Jesus as the suffering servant. Who lived among us but upon trust in God brought salvation to all.
The passion narrative according to St John is different from the narratives on Palm Sunday because it focuses more on the kingship of Jesus. That became the topic of argument! Little do they know that his kingship was not of this world. The raising of Jesus on the Cross is not a moment of failure for the Evangelist, but a moment of glory as Jesus is raised above all those who were against him and so becomes the means of defeating death. If the world is against you turn around and lead the world. Therefore, upon every accusation Jesus led the world to SALVATION. The Cross is a victorious symbol. Venerate it in a special way today.
An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.