Good Friday held with devotion at Milagres Cathedral

Kallianpur : Holy Friday also called as Good Friday was observed at Milagres Cathedral here led by Bishop of Udupi Most Rev Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo with beautiful liturgical services. Began with the way of cross led by Rev Fr. Arun Mendonca at 3.30pm, Good Friday liturgical services held with Bishop along with Very Rev Fr. Stany B. Lobo, Rev Fr. Paul Prakash D'Souza, Rev Fr. Ivan Rodrigues, Rev Dr. Canute Barboza, Rev Fr. Arun Mendonca Chaplain of Ozanum and Rev Fr. Agnelo D'Souza of Pilar Fathers.

The Good Friday Liturgy was divided into four parts: the reading of the scriptures including the Passion of Jesus from the Gospel of St. John followed by homily; recitation of solemn prayers for different intentions; Veneration of the Cross; and the Holy Communion. The Good Friday liturgical services were compered by Dr. Neri Cornelio.

According to the Church's ancient tradition, the sacraments are not celebrated on Good Friday nor Holy Saturday. "Celebration of the Lord's Passion," traditionally known as the "Mass of the Presanctified," (although it is not a mass) is usually celebrated around three o'clock in the afternoon, or later, depending on the needs of the parish.

The altar is completely bare, with no cloths, candles nor cross. The service is divided into three parts: Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. The priest and deacons wear red or black vestments. 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.

In part one, the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the most famous of the Suffering Servant passages from Isaiah (52:13-53:12), a pre-figurement of Christ on Good Friday. Psalm 30 is the Responsorial Psalm "Father, I put my life in your hands." The Second Reading, or Epistle, is from the letter to the Hebrews, 4:14-16; 5:7-9. The Gospel Reading is the Passion of St. John.

The General Intercessions conclude the Liturgy of the Word. The ten intercessions cover these areas:

  • For the Church
  • For the Pope
  • For the clergy and laity of the Church
  • For those preparing for baptism
  • For the unity of Christians
  • For the Jewish people
  • For those who do not believe in Christ
  • For those who do not believe in God
  • For all in public office
  • For those in special need

Part two is the Veneration of the Cross. A cross, either veiled or unveiled, is processed through the Church, and then venerated by the congregation. We joyfully venerate and kiss the wooden cross "on which hung the Savior of the world." During this time the "Reproaches" are usually sung or recited.

Part three, Holy Communion, concludes the Celebration of the Lord's Passion. The altar is covered with a cloth and the ciboriums containing the Blessed Sacrament are brought to the altar from the place of reposition. The Our Father and the Ecce Agnus Dei ("This is the Lamb of God") are recited. The congregation receives Holy Communion, there is a "Prayer After Communion," and then a "Prayer Over the People," and everyone departs in silence.

The solemn church liturgy on Good Friday included the dramatised reading of the 'Passion of the Cross' from the Gospel of John undertaken by Rev Dr. Canute Barboza, Rev Fr. Stany Lobo and Rev Fr. Ivan Rodrigues at Milagres Cathedral here. During meaningful hard hitting homily by Fr. Dr. Canute Barboza pointed out the "mystery behind the cross of Jesus". He said that Jesus took the place of the mankind in order to deliver it from sin and sufferings by sacrificing himself and accepting the humiliating death on the Cross. In the Gospel  a number of passages indicate that Jesus had foretold about his death. While the first human being, Adam by his disobedience to the will of God brought a wedge between mankind and God, Jesus by his obedience to God unto his death on the Cross brought mankind closer to God. By his death on Cross, Jesus has not banished sufferings from our lives, but has shown the way how to accept and bear the sufferings in our lives.

After the mass the solemn procession with the statue of Jesus around street of College road and Kallianpur Road held with the participation of large number of people. With the completion of Good Friday, Christians prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday which Easter Vagil begins on Saturday at 7pm at Milagres Cathedral. The main celebrant will be Bishop of Udupi Diocese.


Richard D'Souza

News published on: 2013-03-30