At 6 pm, Rome time, this afternoon, Good Friday, the Holy Father Francis presides over the celebration of the Lord's Passion at the Altar of the Chair in the Vatican Basilica.
After the initial procession, the Pope performed the prostration under the steps of the presbytery.
The triple unveiling of the Cross precedes the act of adoration. After having adored the Cross, the Holy Father presents it to the silent adoration of the assembly.
During the Liturgy of the Word the account of the Passion according to John is read, then the Preacher of the Pontifical Household, Capuchin Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., gave the homily.
“We build fraternity in precisely the same way that we build peace, that is starting close by, with ourselves… For us, that means universal fraternity starts with the Catholic Church,” said the Preacher of the Papal Household, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa. He made the point in his homily at the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday evening in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was presided over by Pope Francis. In observance of the Covid-19 health protocols, the liturgy was attended by a limited number of faithful
“The mystery of the cross that we are celebrating,” the Italian cardinal said, “obliges us to focus precisely on this Christological foundation of fraternity which was inaugurated on Calvary.” When Jesus says, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me”, he intends to include every human person in need of help.
In the Paschal Mystery, Christ becomes “the firstborn among many brothers” (Rm 8:29). Cardinal Cantalamessa noted that it is only after the resurrection that Jesus calls his disciples brothers for the first time. “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’,” He tells Mary Magdalen.
The Cardinal explained, “the divisions that polarize Catholics, stem from political opinions that grow into ideologies after being given priority over religious and ecclesial considerations”, issues that are “not openly talked about or are disdainfully denied”.
Cardinal Cantalamessa said, “Pastors need to be the first to make a serious examination of conscience.” They need to ask themselves whether they are leading their flocks to themselves or to Jesus.