The focus of the Catholic faithful on Good Friday is the Cross. In Churches throughout the world, traditional Good Friday services include the Reading of the Passion of Our Lord and Veneration of the Cross, a ceremony in which the faithful pay respect to the cross on which Jesus was crucified. In most churches, the service is held at 3:00 PM, the time of Jesus’ death. Veneration is performed by individuals bowing, kneeling, kissing or touching the cross.
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge presided and was homilist at the Veneration of the Cross at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese, and Father Daniel D. Oschwald, Cathedral Rector, participated in the liturgy.
“All of us in this Cathedral know to some extent what it means to share in the sufferings of Christ,” Bishop Burbidge said. “We are also reminded where we find our hope and strength.”
Reflecting on the deaths and destruction caused by the tornadoes of April 16, 2011, Bishop Burbidge spoke of the funerals of four children held on Wednesday. “As you looked at the grief of their dear parents, you could not help but to think of Mary at the foot of the Cross.”
“In the Liturgy today, the Church provides us with the opportunity to come forward with our burdens, anxieties and sufferings,” Bishop Burbidge said. “With firm faith and joyful hope, we can say at this moment and every day of our lives: We adore you O Christ and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”
Above: Cross at entrance of Sacred Heart Cathedral Church for Good Friday liturgical service.
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Msgr. David D. Brockman and Father Daniel D. Oschwald prostrate at the altar at the beginning of the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion.
Above: Catholic faithful making a personal sign of veneration before the Cross.