Experience Holy Week: Good Friday Traditions

After a day of activities including the washing of feet and a late-night prayer vigil on Holy Thursday, the most solemn day of the year is upon us.

Good Friday is a day of quiet and contemplation, fasting and abstinence.

Remembering the Suffering of Christ

Many churches will offer the Stations of the Cross at some point on Friday, preparing the faithful for the remembrance of Christ’s crucifixion.

There is also a tradition of keeping three hours of silence and prayer during the hours that Christ suffered on the cross, from noon to 3:00 pm. During this time it is appropriate to turn off any music and television, even your phone, and focus on Christ’s suffering and death. Some churches even hold a period of prayer during this time.

Prayer Service

There is no Mass celebrated on this day, just a service that includes Communion that was consecrated on Holy Thursday. The service is often held at 3:00pm, the hour of Christ’s death.

This prayer service, called the “Mass of the Presanctified” even though it is not exactly a Mass, includes veneration of the cross by the faithful and intercessory prayers for the Church and the whole world.

There is no music at the service, or at any time from the Holy Thursday Mass until the Alleluia at the Easter Vigil Mass. There are also no bells rung in the church during this time, so the service is often begun with the sounding of a wooden clapper.

Divine Mercy Novena

Good Friday is the starting date for the Divine Mercy Novena, which is nine days of praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday. You can read more about the Divine Mercy Chaplet in our article Here.

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