14 April 2006

Triduum Day 2 - Good Friday

Bringing Jesus before the Sanhedrin. Note the crowd.
Day two of the Triduum focuses on Good Friday, and the trial, judgement and death of Jesus.
The local monastery has a Passion Play with many homeschoolers and other pilgrims playing each of the parts. The fellow playing Jesus has been doing it for many years and really has the part just right.
There were at least 2,000 people attending the play today and it was difficult to get in position for good photos. I attended with the older three leaving Lana at home with the littlies. Here are three snapshots of the play which started with Judas making his deal with the Sanhedrin and Jesus wandering in to shouts of "Hosanna!" to the Last supper and the rest of the Stations of The Cross.

Peter is denounced as Jesus' disciple - by his daughter!
The narrator's mission included some elements of crowd control and the guards also kept back the more enthusiastic crowd members. At the beginning, the narrator announced, "Please leave room for Jesus and the actors to get to each scene. Please do not go in front of Jesus. Remember we are followers of Jesus not leaders." Immediately the crowd rushed ahead to get their position for the next scene!
The Play completed after about an hour and a half. There were other devotions in which to paricipate such as The Divine Mercy chaplet and Meditations on the Stations of The Cross until 3:00pm for the service of Veneration of the Cross.
This service is the actual second stage of the Triduum. The rest are bonus devotions.
As Jesus, present in the hosts concecrated last night, was in the Altar of Repose, the altar was still bare and the tabernacle empty. The first reading was from Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12, then Psalm 30, Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 and a Gospel reading from John 18:1 to 19:42. Traditionally this gospel is read in parts by a narrator, other people and the priest reading all of Jesus' speaking parts. At the words, "... and bowing His head He gave up His spirit" everyone in the church kneels.
The priest's homily focussed heavily on the cross and Jesus's death being the only way we were able to get to heaven. It is through his death and resurrection we have any entitlement to heaven at all.

This enthusiastic Roman must have seen "The Passion"
Then we had the Veneration of the Cross and shared out communion hosts finishing off with benediction.
So in summary, today was a great reminder of:
- the reason for the season;
- the historical story using all our senses - hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting and touching;
- the scriptures, brought home in multiple ways;
- the universality of the Church. Those 2,000 people come from a wide variety of nationalities and cultural backgrounds. Many peoples, one Church.
Now we have a quiet, in-between day waiting for tomorrow's Vigil Mass.

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