As the middle service of the Triduum, Good Friday is prepared for by Holy Thursday. In turn, it leads into the Easter Vigil. The absence of a benediction the previous evening and again on Good Friday underscores the connectedness of the Triduum services. Good Friday is not a “funeral” for Jesus, but an austere celebration of the Lamb and his sacrifice. The bare altar, symbolic of Christ, is the focus along with a large, rough-finished wood cross that is placed before it. The Service of the Cross consists of two parts: (I) the Word and (II) the Meditation on the Cross. The service is highly meditative in nature and is celebrated simply and not hurried.
All of human history hinges on this day. Humbling himself before the will of the Father and the blood-thirst of men, the Son of God is slaughtered. Even worse than an ignomible death, the Father must reject his own Son since he bears the sin of the world. But all this served God’s saving purpose, and so we call this Friday…Good.