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Good Friday (Chief Service)
Good Friday is part of the sacred Triduum, the three-day observance of Christ’s Passion. The name may originally have been “God’s Friday,” but it is certainly also “good” because of the good gifts Christ won for us on this day.
Good Friday is not observed as a funeral for Christ. It is a day of repentance over sin and restrained joy and praise for the redemption Christ accomplished for us on the cross. In keeping with this character, music is kept to a minimum, though not silenced. Elaborate words of praise are omitted. The altar remains bare, having been stripped on Holy Thursday.
This is the chief service for Good Friday. It contains a number of ancient elements, particularly the full reading of the Passion according to St. John, the Bidding Prayer, the cross procession and the Reproaches, and the Responsory. Given the solemnity of the day, silence is observed at various times in order to reflect upon the Word of God. Because the service is part of the Triduum, it has neither entrance rite nor benediction. The concluding hymn ensures that the final note of the service is one of triumph, for God’s faithful know the end of the story.