Media and Communications Office
Good Friday liturgies and services brought worshippers to Catholic churches right across the Archdiocese of Melbourne today, as congregations gathered to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
In Melbourne, Archbishop Denis Hart conducted the Good Friday ceremony and Eucharist at St Patrick’s Cathedral, where he said, ‘This Good Friday gives us the power humbly to bring our weakness and brokenness to Jesus and to receive a strength that can change and enrich our world. Our ability to give ourselves totally like him is the challenge to refashion our world; our confidence that his grace and our efforts can remake our lives and those of others. First we bring our weakness and brokenness to the cross, knowing that in him is life, salvation and hope for us, our world and all those who love.’
In one of the outermost churches in the Melbourne Archdiocese, Castlemaine, some 127 kilometres from Melbourne, parish priest Fr Wahid Riad processed ceremonially with the Jubilee Cross and reminded his congregation that Jesus had died for each and every one. ‘For you and for me, ‘he said. ‘That’s why it’s called Good Friday.’
Fr Riad recounted the story of a parishioner whose son had asked her, ‘why is it called Good Friday, if Jesus was tortured and crucified on that day?’
‘The answer,’ affirmed Fr Riad, ‘ís that this was the day our salvation was bought. This was the day our Saviour redeemed us and paid for our sins with his own blood. Out of love. That’s why it’s such a Good Friday.’
Fr Wahid exclaimed, ‘There should not be football today – AFL and VFL – this is the day that God died, my dear ones! At this hour. To redeem the world.’
During the Eucharistic service, the congregation was invited to come forward and venerate the Cross.
‘For the sufferings he bore,’ concluded Fr Wahid, ‘for the sorrows he carried, let us feel the gratitude fill our hearts.
‘See what he does for us? Peace!
‘Through his wounds, we are healed.’