Apr 2, 2010
Celebrating Good Friday
The idea of ‘celebrating’ Good Friday seems a contradiction. On Good Friday, after all, we Christians remember the suffering of Jesus the Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death by crucifixion. What is to celebrate?
Yet, the idea of celebrating is quite appropriate. One definition of ‘celebrate’ is ‘to honor especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business.’ To celebrate Good Friday, then, is ‘to honor’ the suffering, the Passion, of Jesus on behalf of sinful humankind. His resurrection on Easter morning is the culmination of this Holy Week.
Oh love, how deep, how broad
(attributed to Thomas à Kempis, 15th c.)
Oh love, how deep, how broad, how high! It fills the heart with ecstasy,
that God, the Son of God, should take
our mortal form for mortals’ sake.
For us he was baptized and bore his holy fast, and hungered sore.
For us temptation sharp he knew,
For us the tempter overthrew.
For us he prayed, for us he taught, for us his daily works he wrought
By words and signs and actions thus
Still seeking not himself, but us.
For us to wicked hands betrayed, scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed
He bore the shameful cross and death,
For us at length gave up his breath.
Eternal glory to our God for love so deep, so high, so broad;
The Trinity whom we adore
For ever and forevermore.
Photo by Aldred Neufeldt