Friday, April 3, 2015
Good Friday - April 3rd, 2015
As I do every year, I shut down and disconnect from work and the world by noon on Good Friday. Growing up in the Roman Catholic faith, as a child we would sometimes go to church and follow the Stations of the Cross. Or we would stay home with no radio, no television and sit and recite the rosary. It was also a day of fasting.
There was no music and NOTHING would be on the altar. In fact, the Altar Ladies (known as the Altar Guild in some churches) would clear the altar of the usual Holy Bible, altar cloth and other regalia right after the Holy Thursday service. Often there would be a single red rose placed on the altar which would remain until Easter had arrived.
I also knew it was Good Friday since church bells did not play their recorded tunes at the regular 12 noon and 6pm times. All music at the church stopped right after the Holy Thursday service and would not resume until the Easter Eve service at 10pm on Holy Saturday.
As I've gotten older I find I don't keep all of the Catholic traditions I grew up with. I now have this routine on Good Friday: I get up early in the morning to get as much work done as possible. Then I post a video of my favorite gospel song "Were You There" sung by Johnny Cash and the Carter Sisters, and then I just sit, pray, remember by ancestors and contemplate the Crucifixion.
This year I'm also focusing on the message that Jesus brought: a message of change. I'll focus not just on changes I've witnessed over the past year, but changes needed to improve my life. I will also look at changes we as humanity can make in terms of how we treat each other and how we experience life.
For me, Good Friday is more than a holy day. It is a day of change and offers the chance to understand that change both 2,000 years ago as well as each and every day.
© 2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.