Good Friday, the Friday of Holy Week in the calendar of the Christian churches, is set apart to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. The earliest name for this day, Pascha, refers to the Jewish Passover celebrated at this time. In the beginning the days observances grew out of this Jewish Passover custom of keeping the days of unleavened bread from the fourteenth to the twenty-first Nisan. Other names were: Day of the Lords Passion, Day of the Absolution, and Day of the Cross. The name Good Friday is a peculiarly English expression. It reflects the joy of completed redemption and protests against superstitious notions that all Fridays are unlucky and that this particular Friday must be shrouded in funeral gloom. Although, it is more probably derived from a corruption of Gods Friday. It was called Long Friday by the Saxons and Danes, apparently in allusion to the long services held on that day in the churches. In medieval days, notably in Spain, the churches were closed on this day as a sign of mourning.
Good Friday Worship Services reflect the character of solemn, restrained praise. The church services held today, on Good Friday, differ but slightly from each other. In all, are read or chanted the Scriptures relating to the Passion of Christ, most using the Gospel of John chapters 18:1 through 19:42. Many have Tre Ore Services that last for three hours, from 12:00 Noon to 3:00 pm. The Tre Ore Services are usually composed of a Good Friday Litany, the reading of the Passion according to St. John, sermons on the Passion or the Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross, and the Bidding Prayer. The germ of the Bidding Prayer may be found in the worship of the Jewish synagogue, where prayers were offered for members of the Jewish community and their needs. The early Christians expanded the idea. Justin Martyr in the second century speaks of such a prayer as the "Deacons Litany " or the "Prayer of the Faithful." The text of today's Bidding Prayer probably dates from the time of Leo the Great in the fifth century.
Sealing the Doors
Following the daytime (Tre Ore) Worship Services at Historic Trinity, we exit the church proper and assemble on Gratiot Avenue in front of the doors of the church. Then a symbolic seal will be placed on the front door of the church to symbolize the sealing of the tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are invited to return for the early Easter Sunday Worship Service when we will symbolically unseal the church doors and enter in the church to celebrate the Festival of the Resurrection.
Black Good Friday Paraments and Vestments
The altar, pulpit, bookmark, and black paraments used this Good Friday were made in the 1860's and used in our second church built in 1866. Dr. Eberhard is wearing a pallium type of pastoral stole.
Good Friday Tre Ore Services in Pictures
Take a virtual visit to the solemn Tre Services at Historic Trinity. These images are best viewed in Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Just click on the thumbprint of the image to see a larger version of it. Then click on the "back" button of your browser to return to the image index.
The evening Good Friday service is the Tenebrae Service. The ancient office of Tenebrae, Latin for darkness, is intended to bring to mind and heart, by word and symbol, the closing hours of our Lords suffering and death. Seven lighted candles represent the ebbing life of the Crucified. As each word from the cross is heard, one by one the candles are extinguished. The Strepitus is sounded with the roll of a timpani, representing the closing of the tomb. One candle remains burning throughout the service to symbolize that even in the midst of death and darkness the forces of hell shall not prevail against the light of Christ.
Tenebrae Service in Pictures
Take a virtual visit to this solemn worship service at Historic Trinity. Just follow this link, and you will see thumbprints of images of the service. Just click on the one you would like enlarged. Then click on the back button of your browser to return to the image index page.
2015 Tenebrae Service 2014 Tenebrae Service
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