The Friday before Easter, Good Friday, is one of great significance to Christians around the world. It was observed with great faith and devotion in the diocese on the evening of April 6. The actual ceremony of Good Friday is held in the evening.
On Good Friday, the services in all the churches have the Gospel reading of St John, which is read in a singing intonation and consists of the first part of the liturgical service. The sufferings of Christ were recited by the priests. Later in his homily, assistant parish priest of Bendur Fr Anil Pinto said that the feelings and relationship the Lord had with human beings was boundless.
“When we recall the sufferings of Christ, one can realize how his feelings were when he was dying on the cross. There is no limitations for human feelings. When we suffer in our life we get feelings; when we get success in our life we make merry and praise Jesus, but when we face problems our feelings will be different,” he said.
Recalling a story of a boy whose father was sick and not able to work, he said the boy took the responsibility of the father and started to work in a crematorium. Cremating dead bodies was his job. With the earnings he was feeding his family. His daily prayer was to get dead bodies every day so that he could earn more and feed his family well.
He continued saying that once when the boy did not receive any dead body for cremation for a month, he was worried. Just as he was losing hope, he saw some people carrying a dead body into the crematorium. He ran inside the house and told his mother to ask his father not to worry, as there was a dead body being brought to the crematorium.
The mother replied and asked him not to worry since his father knew everything. The people who were carrying the dead body entered the boy’s house, and it was then that the boy came to know that it was none other than his own father who had died. And he realized the pain of death of one’s loved one.
Continuing Fr Anil said, “Jesus died an unnatural death; he did not commit any sin but he died for our sins to save us from the fire of hell. We have to understand the meaning of relationship. We have to bring peace in our family and we have to forgive others like how Jesus did.”
The second part is the unveiling and veneration of the Cross and the third part is the receiving of the Eucharist. Good Friday, like Ash Wednesday is a day of penance and fasting.
The ‘Good Friday’ of the year 2012 fell on April 6 and brought all the Christians together in their respective parishes for prayers. Good Friday in Mangalore began with the ‘Way of the Cross’ in all the churches as the congregation prayed their way past 14 Stations of the Cross representing the steps of Jesus all the way to Golgotha.
Some of the churches in Mangalore held solemn processions where they took a life-size statue of Jesus in prayerful worship followed by evening service, thus giving all the parishioners an ample opportunity to attend services at their convenience.
As is the custom every year, Bishop Dr Aloysius D’Souza led the congregation in prayerful worship in the Rosario Cathedral in Mangalore. All parishes including Bendur, Milagres, Valencia, Jeppu Retreat House, Kulshekar and Infant Jesus Shrine churches observed the day with prayer and penance to mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
As the observance of Good Friday passed, Christians now prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday, beginning with the evening of Holy Saturday on April 7.