Good Friday is one of those days when I take refuge in poetry or look at a crucifix and feel stupid and dull, unable to get my mind round the sacrifice Jesus made. Above all, I seek the bare, stark forms of the liturgy because everything else seems too small, often too ‘pious’, for the hugeness of what we celebrate.
The liturgy is objective in a way that forces us to consider the Crucifixion anew every year. Our understanding is stretched almost to breaking-point. The liturgy’s quiet dramas and haunting music, the return to forms of worship familiar to the early Church, help us cope with the vastness of the story it tells and the inadequacy of our response. The death of Jesus on the Cross has changed everything. What can we possibly say after that?
The Preces of the Solemn Liturgy gather into a sequence of ten prayers our needs and the needs of the whole world. They articulate what we cannot. So, today, let us pray as the whole Church prays: for holy Church; for the Pope; for all orders and degrees of the faithful (i.e. bishops, priests, deacons and laypeople); for catechumens (i.e. those under instruction before becoming Christians); 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 those in public office; for those in tribulation (i.e. asking God to cleanse the world of error, banish disease, drive out hunger, free the imprisoned, loosen fetters, grant safety to travellers and return to pilgrims, give health to the sick and grant salvation to the dying.) AMEN.
There are several earlier posts that treat other aspects of Good Friday. Please do a search in the sidebar if interested.