Good Friday is a religious holiday for us Catholics where we remember Jesus Christ crucifixion on the cross and how much He love His people. It is a day of atonement and solemnity for Christian believers everywhere.
While growing up in the Philippines, our parents has instilled in us a strong Catholic faith and we have traditions that we normally do during a Good Friday.
1. VISITA IGLESIA / WAY OF THE CROSS IN 7 CHURCHES
We would usually visit 7 churches in Iloilo City and pray the way of the cross. The kids (us) would take turns in reading one of the 15th stations of the cross while we meditate and contemplate on Jesus Christ’s Passion and Love for His people.
2.RELIGIOUS MOVIE WATCHING
After visita iglesia, we normally go straight home but we are not allowed to play around, make too much noise and laugh boisterously. So our mother would make us watch religious movie which we all enjoyed. The movie every Holy Week would either be THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, BEN-HUR and BARABBAS. These are very old movies but well-directed, well-made and with really good actors. You will see the younger, sexier Charlston Heston and Yul Brenner in the THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. The movie of Mel Gibson, THE PASSION OF CHRIST, can be included in this batch of good religious movie for Lent as well.
3. STREET PROCESSION
In the afternoon, we would join the street procession officiated by our parish. There will be several carrozas (carriages of holy images) in the street and we will choose which carroza to follow. We would be praying the rosary while lightening a candle. We would walk the streets from the church circling around the neighbourhood and back to the church where we came from. We have a relative who owns one of the statue in the carroza and we would normally follow her carroza during these processions.
4. KISSING OF CRUCIFIED JESUS
After the procession, most churches would have a life-sized statue of Jesus Christ lying near the altar. Most of all the sacred images and statues inside the church are covered by purple cloths. People would queue up to kiss the feet of the statue of Jesus Christ. Church organizers would wipe a sweet-smelling alcohol after every penitent kiss for hygienic purposes. We would visit 7 churches on that evening to get a chance to kiss the statue that depicts our crucified Christ.
5. MEDITATING ON THE JESUS SEVEN LAST WORDS & ACT OF CONTRITION
Upon the cross, Jesus uttered 7 last phrases and sentences, all of which have a deep meaning and is good for the penitent to reflect upon.
(1) Matthew 27:46 tells us that about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
(2) “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
(3) “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
(4) “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
(5) “Dear Woman, here is your son!” and “Here is your mother!”
(6) “I am thirsty” (John 19:28).
taken from: http://www.gotquestions.org
It is also a perfect time to be mindful of all the sins we have committed against our loving God and do an act of contrition. It is also good to have a renewed fervour to be better as the resurrection of Christ approaches. In three days, our Lord will rise up on a lovely Easter Sunday.
Have a blessed Good Friday, everyone!