FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD (3 PM CST)
The video for FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD will be available at 3 pm (CST).
On Good Friday, the whole world stands still
Dear Friends of Your Catholic Voice, Catholic Online and Students of the Catholic Online School
I AM TRULY HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU FOUR NEW INVITATIONS to make the Holy Days truly special. As we all know, this Lent has been a very unusual one for Catholics around the world. Due to the pandemic, the Coronavirus, many Catholic faithful are currently unable to receive the Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist.
For safety, Public Masses are not being offered. Though our wonderful priests and Bishops around the world are offering Mass for all of us. As a result, many of the beautiful services associated with the Easter Triduum (Three Days) of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Mass are not available to the faithful.
I serve as a Deacon in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, under Bishop Joseph Strickland. He has been offering Holy Mass and providing it by either video or Live Stream. These beautiful services are being offered through the St. Philip Institute for Catechesis and Evangelization which he founded in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. Bishop Strickland and the Leaders of the Institute have graciously offered these wonderful Streamed services to us to share with all of you.
GOOD FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD
The day following the Lord's Supper, Jesus walked the way of suffering and mounts the altar of sacrifice on Golgotha's Hill to fully pour Himself out - every drop of blood and water flowed from His wounded side - for us all. Through His death and Resurrection, he begins creation anew, overcomes the power of sin, pays the debt of justice and defeats the devil and the last enemy death. This is remembered in a powerful Service which will be streamed online.
On Good Friday, the whole world stands still. We recall the great Sacrifice offered on the second tree on Golgotha's Hill. There, the one St. Paul calls the New Adam (1 Cor.15), in the perfect obedience of love, did for us what we could not do on our own. There, Heaven was wed to earth. There, we were freed from the power of sin and death. There, we learn the Way of Crucified Love. On Good Friday, as we contemplate the Passion, we also plumb the mystery and meaning of the Church. We are members of His Body.
The Church was born from the wounded side of the Savior. He betroths her in His great self-emptying on the Altar of the Cross. Through her Sacraments, Jesus, the head of the Body, continues to feed us all with the divine life we need to enter more fully into the new communion which is ours through this saving Paschal mystery.
Priests and deacons, in the starkly beautiful liturgy of the Lord's Passion and the Veneration of the Holy Cross, will cry out Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the Salvation of the World to which the faithful will respond, Come, Let us Worship. Of course, worship is the only fitting response in the face of such an act of Love.
We walk into a sanctuary stripped of all altar cloths, the tabernacle emptied of the consecrated Eucharist and, upon reaching the altar in silence; we lay prostrate on the floor in an act that is both a sign of surrendered love and an expression of holy fear and awe in the face of the mystery.
Come back tomorrow for the EASTER VIGIL (Saturday Evening) at 8:30 pm (CST).
We invite you to join with faithful throughout the world in prayer and worship in an online experience of the Easter Triduum Liturgies. Let us pray that the Lord, in His Mercy, reach out from heaven to heal those afflicted with the virus - and intervene by the Power of the Holy Spirit - to bring an end to its devastation.
Let us pray for the Church - and for all of her clergy and faithful - that she would be a witness to the Power of Living Faith in Jesus Christ and share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world steeped in fear and darkness. Let us pray for those in Civil leadership, that the Lord would give them the wisdom they need to make right decisions for the health, safety and welfare of people in every Nation.
Let us pray for those in the scientific and medical community, that they would be inspired by the Lord to find a cure for this virus. Let us pray for one another.
And finally, let us believe the words and he promise of Jesus Christ. Even in the midst of this current crisis, He is at work, healing, delivering and setting people free from death.
The Father hears our prayers as we turn to Him, in the name of His Son and Our Savior. He sends forth the Holy Spirit to heal, inspire and give us hope in this time of despair. The Lord will intervene to help us.
May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church and the Nations of the world
Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation
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