Good Friday at the Vatican


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(02 Apr 10 - RV) Good Friday commemorates Our Lord's Passion and Crucifixion. The liturgy of the Passion is celebrated in St Peter's Basilica in the early afternoon in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, the Roman Curia and pilgrims who have come in their thousands to Rome for Holy Week.

Meditations on Christ's Passion are offered by Fr Raniero Cantlamessa OFMCap, preacher of the Papal Household.

At sunset the Holy Father makes his way across the city, towards the ancient Flavian amphitheatre known as the coliseum. There he will mark the 14 Stations of the Cross and Christ's journey to Calvary.

Meditations for this years Way of the Cross were written by the Vicar General Emeritus for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini.

Both liturgies will be broadcast live with full English commentaries by Vatican Radio.

Good Friday is the second day of Triduum. In preparation for Easter, this year Pope Benedict invited the faithful to meditate on the theme of justice throughout the Lenten period.

We invited Cardinal Paul Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to offer us his reflections on the meaning of Christ's Passion:

"Christians are about to celebrate Easter. Easter, as you know derives from the celebration of the Passover of the Old Testament. When the Old Testament talks to us of Passover, it is an invitation to celebrate the deliverance of the Israelites from the bondage of slavery, it's a celebration of liberation, it's a celebration of freedom".

"When we Christians celebrate our Passover, in the sense of our Easter, it is also a celebration of how, through the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus we also celebrate freedom, liberation from the power of evil, the power of sin in our lives. Therefore we can put the two together. The celebration of liberation in the Old Testament and the celebration of liberation through Jesus in the New Testament, are themes of liberation and when that is the case then we can remind ourselves of the fact that the liberation from enslavement in Egypt and the liberation from evil sin and death all invite us to recognise that; one there is evil in our lives and evil in the world; two, that we can become enslaved by these tendencies of evil in the world in our lives. In Jesus we are invited to overcome, to share in Jesus'' victory over the power of evil in our lives and in our world and this I think is what we can celebrate at Easter".