Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

Darkness falls over the Earth on Good Friday. God's own son goes to his death to save us from the darkness in our hearts. While he is walking out this terrifying mission his followers seem to do everything they can to show how little we humans deserve the favor.

Good Friday commemorates the anniversary of Christ's crucifixion and death. Jesus was nailed on the cross. Jesus died on the cross, bearing his own weight with his palms, bleeding. Left to bleed in the afternoon sun. Good Friday was the day He died. It is a sad day and churches never have flowers or decorations on this day. The church is left dark and there is just a simple cross on the altar. Good Friday is "good" because Jesus's death on the cross was him taking on the sins of the world and absorbing the punishment for those sins, in our place.

There are few explanations as to why the holiday is known as "Good" Friday since it commemorates a sorrowful time in Christianity. Some scholars believe that "good" is a corruption of the word "God's" while others speculate that "good" was used to denote "holy". In Eastern Orthodox churches, the observance is known as Great Friday.

Since the early church Good Friday has been observed by fasting, penance, and prayer. For many years the day had no association with the death of Jesus but was simply another day of fasting. It has been associated with the crucifixion since the late fourth century. Many churches now have mourning services from noon until 3:00 p.m. to symbolize Jesus' last hours on the cross. Some congregations also re-enact Jesus' procession to the cross in a ritual known as Stations of the Cross.

Continuing the ancient tradition of the Catholic Church, there are no sacraments performed on Good Friday. The Celebration of the Lord's Passion liturgical service held around three o'clock or later involves three distinct parts:

readings and prayers, including the reading of the Passion from the Gospel of St. John;

the veneration of the cross;

and a general communion service (formerly called the Mass of the Pre-sanctified), using bread and wine consecrated the previous day, Maundy Thursday.

The service begins in silence. The liturgy starts with the priests and deacons going to the altar in silence and prostrating themselves for a few moments in silent prayer, then an introductory prayer is prayed. Prostrating means that the priest lays down in front of the altar. We kneel as they do this, and it only lasts a few minutes.

Other forms of observance include prayer and meditation at the Stations of the Cross, a succession of 14 images on wooden crosses depicting Christ's crucifixion and the events leading up to it.

What does Jesus' life teach us? It teaches us not to give suffering to others but take it ourselves. It teaches us to comfort others. It teaches us selfless giving. It teaches us to forgive even if extreme pain is inflicted upon us. It teaches us to love all and hate none.

Let us celebrate Easter Sunday. Let us remember the teachings of Jesus Christ. Let us spread peace in the world. Let us start giving selflessly. Let us live selflessly. Let us all spread goodness, happiness and cheer in the world. Let us all work to remove hatred and vice from this world.

//m.u.s.i.c V.I.D.E.O

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