Good Friday is the most sober day of the entire Church year. It is a day of fasting. There are no greetings, genuflections, opening songs, processions. We simply come and prostrate in humble submission before the word and the glorious cross of Christ. The climax of this first part of the Good Friday liturgy is the proclamation of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we listen closely we find that this proclamation of the Passion is very different from the one we heard on Passion Sunday. In John's Gospel, Jesus' power and majesty shine through. Jesus is in control of everything that happens. He carries his cross alone. He is victorious on the cross. Jesus reigns from the tree. The second part of the Good Friday liturgy is unique. A large cross is brought forward and presented to us. We approach the wood of the cross, the instrument of torture, cruely and death, and we reverence it with a touch or a kiss! If it were not for the eyes of faith, we could never understand this strange, indeed bizarre action, seeing glory in the cross. The Good Friday rites conclude with a simple Communion service with the Eucharist from Holy Thursday's liturgy. Holy Saturday is a day of quiet waiting and preparation for the Easter Vigil.
[Source: Supplement to the Sunday Bulletin of February 3, 2008; St. Paul Parish, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.]