Friday of the Passion of the Lord – Good Friday
The Altar is left completely bare: without a cross, candles or cloths. The Passion customarily takes place at 3pm unless for a pastoral reason a later hour is chosen. This service must be presided over by a priest.
1. In silence, wearing Red Vestments.
2. After making a reverence to the altar the priest prostrates (or kneels if they cannot prostrate).
3. Proceeds to the chair and omitting “Let us Pray” says the Prayer.
Liturgy of the Word
1. First Reading: Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12
2. Second Reading: Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
3. Gospel: John 18:1 - 19:42 (read as on Palm Sunday)
4. Following the Gospel – may offer a brief homily or a period of silent reflection
5. Solemn Intercessions
a. Deacon (or Lay Minister) introduces the prayer
b. Priest (at the chair or altar) says the prayer
c. The faithful may remain kneeling or standing throughout the Solemn Intercessions.
The Adoration of the Holy Cross
1. There are two forms for the Entrance
a. First Form
i. Deacon brings the cross covered in a purple veil from the sacristy. He is accompanied by two ministers with lighted candles on either side.
ii. He brings the covered cross to the Sanctuary and presents it to the priest.
1. Priest uncovers a portion and chants the invocation: “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world. Response: Come let us adore.” He may be assisted by the deacon or the choir in the chanting. All in the church kneel in silent adoration following the chant.
2. The priest uncovers another portion and repeats as before – with all going to their knees following “Come let us adore.”
3. The priest uncovers the cross and repeats as before – with all going to their knees following “Come let us adore.”
b. Second Form
i. The Priest/Deacon takes the unveiled cross and accompanied by ministers with lighted candles; “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world. Response: Come let us adore.” Taking place at:
1. The Entrance
2. Part way down the center aisle
3. At the entrance of the Sanctuary
ii. Priest/Deacon places the Cross between two candles at the entrance of the Sanctuary.
iii. The Priest Celebrant approaches the Cross, with his chasuble and shoes removed, and makes the customary genuflection before the Cross appropriate for Good Friday.
Adoration of the Cross by the Faithful
- Only one Cross should be offered for adoration.
- If a large number of faithful are present and it is not possible for all to adore individually the following options are offered:
- The other priests and ministers present adore the Cross
i. Approaching and making a single genuflection [or]
ii. Another appropriate sign customary in the region (like kissing the Cross).
- A representative group of the faithful may come forward to reverence the Cross.
- The Priest standing in the middle before the altar invites the people to adore the Cross and elevates the Cross for a brief time for the faithful to adore in silence (while kneeling).
- While the faithful are approaching the Cross to adore it (either genuflecting or kissing the Cross), the following antiphons are recommended and found in the Roman Missal.
- Crucem tuam adoramus (We adore your Cross, O Lord)
- Crux fideles (Faithful Cross)
i. If this song is chosen – you should not omit the final stanza
ii. Wisdom, power, and adoration to the blessed Trinity . . .
- The Reproaches
- The Stabat Mater (if appropriate)
- After adoration the Cross is carried to a suitable place and candles are placed around it.
- Following the Passion Service you may leave the Cross available for a period of time for the faithful to adore privately – especially if the large number of faithful present did not allow for individual adoration.
- A simple white cloth is spread on the altar and the corporal is placed upon the altar. The Priest/Deacon, wearing a humeral veil, and accompanied by two ministers with candles, brings the Blessed Sacrament from its place of repose to the altar.
- The Priest Celebrant approaches the altar and genuflects
- With hands joined he introduces the Our Father
- The Sign of Peace is omitted
- Priest says the preparatory prayers quietly and then genuflects.
- He elevates the host above the Ciborium: “Behold the Lamb of God . . .”
- Distribution of communion ensues
- Following communion the Ciborium/Ciboria is(are) returned to their place of repose
- The Priest says “Let us Pray” and observes a period of sacred silence
- The Prayer after Communion ensues
- The Dismissal with the invocation “Bow down for the blessing”
- The Blessing
- The Priest and all assisting ministers genuflect to the Cross and depart in silence.
- Altar is stripped after the Celebration but the Cross remains surrounded by either two or four candles.
With courtesy of
Fr. Brian King
Diocese of Palm Beach