Good Friday

John 3.16 Good FridayWhat is Good Friday?

“Good Friday is the English designation of Friday in Holy Week — that is, the Friday on which the Church keeps the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. From the earliest times the Christians kept every Friday as a feast day; and the obvious reasons for those usages explain why Easter is the Sunday par excellence, and why the Friday which marks the anniversary of Christ’s death came to be called the Great or the Holy or the Good Friday” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VI, 1909). “The Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Western Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat” (Wikipedia, article ‘Good Friday’).

Why is Good Friday “Good”?

“This question puzzles not only children, but many adults as well. After all, it isn’t obvious that we should call Good Friday good, since it is the day on which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. How can Good Friday be good when it commemorates the day on which the sins of mankind brought about the death of our Savior? The Baltimore Catechism declares that Good Friday is called good because Christ, by His Death, “showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing.” Good, in this sense, means “holy,” and indeed Good Friday is known as Holy and Great Friday among Eastern Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox. Good Friday is also known as Holy Friday in the Romance languages. Thus the answer given by the Baltimore Catechism seems a good explanation, except for the fact that Good Friday is called good only in English. In its entry on Good Friday, the Catholic Encyclopedia notes that: ‘The origin of the term Good is not clear. Some say it is from “God’s Friday” (Gottes Freitag); others maintain that it is from the German Gute Freitag, and not specially English. Sometimes, too, the day was called Long Friday by the Anglo-Saxons; so today in Denmark.’ If Good Friday were called good because English adopted the German phrase, then we would expect Gute Freitag to be the common German name for Good Friday, but it is not. Instead, Germans refer to Good Friday as Karfreitag—that is, Sorrowful or Suffering Friday—in German. So, in the end, the historical origins of why Good Friday is called Good Friday remain unclear, but the theological reason is very likely the one expressed by the Baltimore Catechism: Good Friday is good because the death of Christ, as terrible as it was, led to the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, which brought new life to those who believe.” (Article by Scott P. Richert)

Anglican Moments for Holy Week and the Season of Easter: Palms on Palm Sunday

Christ riding as palms are being thown down In general, the palm is a symbol of victory and triumph. It is associated with the rejoicing that comes with victory. Thus saints, especially martyrs, are often depicted carrying the palm of victory – they have triumphed over sin and won the victory of heaven.

All the Gospels recall the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before his passion and death. The Gospels tell us that the crowds lined the road welcoming Jesus to the city. And they laid branches from the trees or reeds on the road before Jesus. John recalls, “…they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord…” ’(12:13).

“On that Palm Sunday, the Passion Week began. It is ironic, that the journey toward the most intense suffering in history is launched at the moment of greatest accolade. This is always the insidious deception associated at times with human approval. It is often fickle, shallow and insincere. Perhaps the jubilation of Palm Sunday was not insincere. No doubt it was spontaneity without commitment, which usually leads to disaster in this life.

The Vigil at the Altar of Repose

HolyWeek-icons-Thursday-flower-prayer-600x400We will keep the vigil beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Maundy Thursday (March 24) and continuing until 7:00 p.m. on Good Friday (March 25). Parishioners volunteer for one hour blocks in remembrance of Jesus asking His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane if they could not watch and pray with him for one hour.

Acolyte and Lay Servers Training/Rehearsal

IMG_0634On Saturday, March 19, there will be an important training/rehearsal for acolytes and lay servers in preparation of the Palm Sunday Liturgy beginning at 9:00 a.m. Then on Saturday, March 26, there will be an important training/rehearsal for acolytes and lay servers in preparation of the Easter Vigil Liturgy and Easter Day services beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Parish Work Days

images (11)There are two parish work days coming up. On Saturday, March 19, there will be a parish workday in order to prepare the parish building, grounds, and altar for Palm Sunday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Then on Saturday, March 26, there will be a parish workday in order to prepare the parish building, grounds, and altar ready for Easter beginning at 10:00 a.m. All parishioners are encouraged to help out as they are able on these days.