Celebrating Good Friday @ Home

Archbishop Gomez invites us to unite in praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart at 9:00 am:

On this Good Friday, we encourage you and your family to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart, which Archbishop Jose H. Gomez has instructed us to pray at 9:00 am PDT. “Praying together as a nation, the archbishop asks that we seek healing for all who are unwell, wisdom for those whose work is halting the spread of coronavirus, and strength for all God’s children.” A livestream of the Litany of the Sacred Heart with Archbishop Gomez will be available on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ website: www.lacatholics.org and on the USCCB Facebook page: www.facebook.com/usccb. The text of Litany of the Sacred Heart can be found below.

With special permission received from the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, a plenary indulgence is available for those who join Archbishop Gomez in praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart on Good Friday. A plenary indulgence removes all of the temporal punishment due to sins and may be applied to oneself or to the souls of the deceased (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1471). To receive this indulgence, the faithful would need to: pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart on Good Friday; be truly repentant of any sins they have committed and receive the sacrament of reconciliation (at the earliest opportunity); and pray for Pope Francis’ intentions.

“Good Friday is a day when Christians around the world solemnly commemorate the day when Jesus suffered and died on the cross. Catholics traditionally mark the day with fasting, penance and reflection on Jesus’ loving sacrifice,” the USCCB release said.

“This opportunity to pray together during the coronavirus pandemic offers a special moment of unity for the faithful during a time when communities throughout the United States and worldwide are physically unable to congregate for Holy Week and Easter because of COVID-19,”

 

Stations of the Cross:

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote: “The great tragedy of the world is not what people suffer, but how much they miss when they suffer. Nothing is quite as depressing as wasted pain, agony without an ultimate meaning or purpose.” The Stations of the Cross make tangible every imaginable aspect of human suffering, all of which were on full display in the events of Christ’s passion. The Stations teach us to see the suffering’s purpose, especially in a time when so much of it surrounds us.

Praying the Stations of the Cross is an easy, yet profound way of praying. It allows us to partake in Christ’s journey to Calvary, serving as an effective way to relate to Christ’s suffering and also provides an outlet for our suffering, knowing that Christ understands our pain. The stations are a great way to pray with your family and anyone can lead them, even children. A variety of online resources are available for meditations and we have linked a few below.

The stations do not need to be long or complicated. You can travel around a room, your house or around the lawn. It is good to have a small crucifix that you and your family can look at and move from one station to the next. For those who are very visual, you can print out images of each station and hang them around the room/house, or you can scroll down on a screen. If such options are not available, your imagination is a great tool and looking at the crucified Christ who hangs on a cross is just as effective.

From the 18th century, by Papal decree, all Catholic churches were permitted to erect the Stations of the Cross in the sanctuary, with the number of Stations fixed to fourteen. A specific way of praying the Stations also developed, two of the most popular being the method of St. Francis of Assissi and the method of St. Alphonsus Liguori. We have linked both methods and others below, including variations of the Scriptural Stations of the Cross, which were introduced by John Paul II. The last several weeks have felt something like Good Friday, a day on which Mass is not celebrated, along with several other sacraments. Take this opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross with your family, uniting your suffering with that of Christ. Together in our own homes, let us say, “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world. Come let us adore.”

 

How to Pray the Stations:

 

Links for Stations of the Cross:

 

Links for Videos of Stations of the Cross:

 

Promises of the Way of the Cross:

https://stationsofthecross1.weebly.com/promises-of-the-way-of-the-cross.html

 

Additional Ways to Observe Good Friday @ Home:

  • This is required by the Catholic Church if you are healthy and 18 years or older. If you are unable to fast, consider making some other form of sacrifice today. Fasting certainly creates a void within us, so that we may recognize our dependence on God above all else. But it can also be an opportunity to open us up to the needs of others, particularly those who need our prayers during these days.
  • Try to engage in acts of penance, even small ones. This is a sad day and we should be mourning or sins which caused Christ to be crucified. If possible, try to spend the day in reflection and prayer rather than work or other non-essential tasks.
  • Do extra good deeds and sacrifices.
  • Consider wearing black, it’s the color of mourning.
  • Read the passion story from the Bible (Matthew 26:1-27:66).
  • Pray the Stations of the Cross.
  • Watch the story of the passion on a movie. Some examples include “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Gospel of John”, both of which are linked here for free.
  • Good Friday is the first day of the Divine Mercy Novena, so don’t forget to start it.
  • The most sacred hours during Good Friday are from noon to 3:00, because this is when Jesus was on the cross. They’re sometimes known as the 3 hours of agony. During this time, hold a silence in your home, and encourage your children to do the same (to the best of their ability). Turn off the phones, TV, and other devices. Pray the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, read from scripture, have your children quietly draw or color religious pictures, encourage them to meditate on the passion or read religious books.