Fridays in Lent

Calvary

It is an ancient custom in the Holy Land and in many Mediterranian countries that Fridays in Lent are given a focus on the Passion of the Lord.

The Friday after the ashes, is the day dedicated to the agony in the garden, the following one the focus is the scourging at the pillar, then comes the Ecce Homo Friday, followed by the Friday of the Stations of the Cross also known as the Friday of the Holy Face. Today the focus is on the crucifixion of our Lord and a week today will be the commemoration of our Lady of Sorrows.

There is a custom in the Holy Land for Christians to meet in the places associated with the commemoration being made. In some places the votive Mass of that episode of the Passion is celebrated and I have seen myself the custom of wearing red vestments for these Masses.

I think this is a very healthy liturgical devotion. It aids the rigors of fasting and focuses the mind on the Passion of the Lord while uniting us with Christians in the Holy Land. A win win situation.

So let us today climb on calvary and with our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem give thanks to him who consecrated that hill with his on blood.

O God, in the passion of Christ our Lord
you freed us from death,
that heritage of the ancient sin
transmitted to the entire human race.
Renew us in the likeness of your Son,
and as we have, from our birth, carried in us
the image of the earthly man,
so through the action of your Spirit,
may we carry the image of the heavenly man.
(Collect for the passion of the Lord from the Holy Land Missal – notice the reference to the earthly man (Adam) whose cave is directly under Calvary).

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