JERUSALEM - On Friday, April 15th, 2022, His Beatitude Mgr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over the commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord at the Calvary of the Holy Sepulchre, which stands where stood the cross almost 2,000 years ago.
At the Passion Office this morning, in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church commemorated the arrest, trial, condemnation, torture and crucifixion of Jesus, until his burial in a tomb, dug in the rock that would have stood under the Aedicule. A highlight of the Paschal Triduum.
Good Friday is the only day in the year when no Mass is celebrated anywhere in the world, in order to highlight the uniqueness of the Lord's sacrifice on Calvary. The Eucharist distributed to the faithful on this day is consecrated at the Mass celebrated the day before. For this reason, the solemn office of Good Friday is traditionally called the "Mass of the Presanctified". Once and for all, Jesus offers Himself for each of us, giving meaning to the Eucharistic sacrifice, which is then renewed at each Mass, when He comes to the altar to make Himself available to us again.
After Patriarch Pizzaballa, accompanied by Mgr Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio to the Holy Land, Mgr Shomali, General Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, and Fr. Piotr Zelasko, Vicar for the Hebrew-speaking Catholics, entered inside the Holy Sepulchre with the procession, the doors were shut and locked for the entire duration of the ceremony.
At the end of the morning, for the Way of the Cross open to all on the Via Dolorosa, many faithful, locals and pilgrims from all over the world walked across the Old City in the footsteps of Christ, making Jerusalem the City of the Passion and Redemption.
After the Office of Darkness was celebrated by the Franciscans inside the Holy Sepulchre at 4 pm, another very moving ceremony, proper to Jerusalem, took place at night: the funeral procession of Jesus Christ, led by the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francis Patton, OFM, in the Basilica of the Resurrection (pictures below). A statue of Christ, carried in procession, was hoisted up to Golgotha, wrapped in a shroud and finally placed in the tomb.
In the first living crèche, St. Francis of Assisi invited every faithful to join the shepherds, the Magi and Mary and Joseph in their adoration of the mystery of the Incarnation. With this funeral ceremony, the Franciscans invite us, with modesty and restraint, to join the procession of Jesus' friends; those who remained at the foot of the cross and who brought him to what they believed to be His final resting place, waiting for the Resurrection.