Udupi: Good Friday commemorating the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary was observed with great devotion at Milagres Cathedral, Kallanpur of Udupi diocese on Friday, April 2, 2021.
The Good Friday service and liturgy were divided into four parts. The first part comprised of the reading from Scriptures including the Passion of the Lord according to the Gospel of St. John, Prayers for the Intentions of the Church, Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion.
At the outset, Bishop of Udupi Diocese Most Rev Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Very Rev FR. Valerian Mendonca, Rector of the Milagres Cathedral, Rev Fr. Canute Noronha, Asst. Parish priest of Milagres and Rev Fr. Brian Sequiera, Vocational Director of Pilar Fathers, Kallianpur came in procession at the start of liturgy and prostrated in front of the bare alter for a minute.
Following the initial scripture readings the passion of the Christ was animated from the Gospel of St John by Rev Fr. Valerian Mendonca as a narrator, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo as a Jesus, and Sydney Correa as Peter, Pilate, and other characters in the Gospel and as the crowd.
In his Good Friday homily, Bishop Gerald said that Good Friday is the day of sacrifice and it is the day given by God for salvation and moreover Good Friday is the day of the blessed one. Jesus Christ reminds us of the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ who dedicated his entire life to the service of humanity and spread the message of love, compassion, and truth. The story of the Passion does not begin with Christ’s capture and torture by the Roman soldiers. It starts much earlier. Indeed, it begins in the province of Galilee, the moment Christ decides to go with his disciples to Jerusalem-to the center of power, of injustice, and of Roman violence. His passion for the Kingdom of God, for healing the sick, for liberating the oppressed, for forgiving sin, is bound to run up in Jerusalem against its bitterest enemies, the collaborationists amongst his own people, and the forces of Roman occupation.
Bishop said that before Jesus was arrested by Romans, Jesus had begun to be sorrowful and troubled. He was desperate, but not feared. Jesus said that my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. It would be cruel to state that as God’s Son Christ felt no fear. Jesus does not fear for his life. He fears for God. He fears for the Father’s Kingdom, the good new about which he had announced to the poor. Jesus suffered because of God himself is the actual torment in Christ’s Passion. For three hours Jesus hung, nailed to the cross, apparently waiting silently for death in a state of near-paralysis due to his wounds. And then he dies with a cry that expresses the deepest abandonment by the God on whom he had set all his hope and for whom he is hanging on the cross. At the heart of the Christian faith is the story of Christ’s Passion. At the heart of the Passion is the godforsaken Christ’s experience of God.
Soon after the homily, Bishop Gerald and Fr. Valerian recited prayers for the various intentions of the church.
The General Intercessions conclude the Liturgy of Word. The ten intercessions cover these areas for the church, for the Pope, for the clergy and laity of the Church, for those preparing for Baptism, for the unity of Christians, for the Jewish people for those who do not believe in Christ, for those who do not believe in God, for all in public office and for those in special need.
As the third part of Good Friday, Rev Fr. Brian Sequiera brought the shrouded Crucifix to the main altar of the Cathedral where the Bishop unveiled it in three phases and paid respect through kneeling in front of the Crucifix. This was followed by paying respect to the Crucifix by the priests and huge faithful. Due to the covid pandemic, the faithful not allowed to touch the crucifix this year.
As the last part of the service, Holy Communion was distributed by Bishop, three priests, and seven laymen. Good Friday is an important event in Christianity which represents the sacrifices and suffering of Jesus' life. The Crucification was the culmination of the number of events in the Holy Week including Jesus' triumphal return to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and Jesus' last supper on Maundy Thursday.
After the end of Good Friday liturgy, there was used to take procession of the statue of Jesus around the premises cathedral campus, this year due to covid pandemic, the procession was not held. With the completion of Good Friday, Christians prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Easter Vigil begins on Saturday from 7 pm onwards at Milagres Cathedral.
Christians all over the world observed the Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on Friday proceeding Easter Sunday. Good Friday is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday as well.
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