Thursday, April 21, 2011

A thumb history of Good Friday

CMN OFFICE, Manila, April 22, 2011-The gospels described the Good Friday as the commemoration of Jesus' Passion story of all Christians in the world where Jesus was betrayed, trialed, crucified, died and buried. The ritual marks the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday and precedes the celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday as part of the (Semana Santa) Holy Week where Catholics worldwide are now joining the traditional solemn processions representing the Passion of Christ.

Historian said that Jewish tradition dictated that Good Friday began at sundown on Maundy Thursday, adding that the Good Friday traditionally began with the betrayal of Jesus by his apostle Judas in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was subsequently brought before the Sanhedrin council, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and King Herod of Galilee with the ultimate outcome ordering his condemnation to death by crucifixion.

The trial of Jesus and his crucifixion are described in varying detail by all four (4) canonical Gospels, the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman writer Tacitus while the specific events and theological implications are widely disputed, the historicity of the occasion is widely accepted.

The church services this Good Friday revolves around the readings of the Gospel accounts of the Passion story. It includes the distribution of the Eucharist that was consecrated during the Mass on Maundy Thursday and special veneration of the cross by inviting individuals to approach the altar and kiss the wood of the crucifix in the Catholic liturgy for Good Friday.

Christians also marked the Good Friday by participating and/or watching processions meant to replicate the journey that Jesus took through the streets of Jerusalem while carrying his cross to the site of his crucifixion at Calvary. Every year, two of the largest and most famous of these occasions are Rome's Way of the Cross that leads to the Coliseum and is presided over by the Pope and the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem where a procession along the traditionally marked route of Jesus that is attended by thousands of pilgrims.

Key religious leaders will parade around the streets a few hour after 3 o’clock in the afternoon, where the Catholics believe that it is the time when Jesus died in the cross followed by decorated carriages and parish church officials, religious groups and devotees holding rosaries and candles.

The Good Friday is also a day of strict fasting. Catholics are instructed to abstain from eating meat as with all the Fridays of Lent. In Ash Wednesday, the fasting rules for Good Friday dictate that adherents should eat only one full meal with two smaller meals being permitted as long as no other food is consumed in the interim. The use of other meat-based products such as lard, chicken broth or dairy is not traditionally forbidden, although many individuals elect to make their Good Friday meals entirely vegetarian or vegan.

A special liturgy is read in the account of the Passion according to John’s Gospel celebrates by the churches, it is a series of prayers (prayers for special intentions) offered, and the faithful venerate the Cross by coming forward and kiss him. It includes prayers for the Acts of Reparation, the Veneration of the Cross, meditation on the Seven Last Words, praying the Way of the Cross, and the presentation of the “senakulo” or Passion plays. The Good Friday ends with the serving of Holy Communion.

The Good Friday is being observed as a national holyday in many countries with strong Christian traditions. (Jason de Asis)


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