Good Friday, the most somber
day of the year, is a day of solemn church services centering on the Death
of Christ. In homes where Easter preparations are well underway, music
is not played and an atmosphere of reverence is maintained.
Many hours are spent in devotion at church.
The altar is bare, the services--for the only time of the Church year--do
not include the Consecration of the Host, symbolizing the desolation of
the world without God. Services include the distinctive Veneration of
the Cross, in which the crucifix is either carried into the church or
unveiled, and then venerated or kissed by the faithful. In many parishes,
the crucifix is borne by men of the parish and carried throughout the
streets which were the path of Palm Sunday's joyous procession. This funeral
procession in the streets is accompanied by alter boys wielding special
wooden clappers (klekotki, grzechotki) rhythmically ringing
out the nailing of Jesus to the Cross. The sorrowful mood is enhanced
by such plaintive hymns as "Ludu, moj ludu" and "W
* View the Good Friday procession at St.
Helen's Parish, Chicago
& hear the faithful
chanting "Ludu, moj ludu" (Video)
* Stills of Good Friday Procession at St.
* Listen / Sheet music for "Ludu,
* View the klekotki clapped
in procession by altar boys (Video)
* Still of Klekotki in procession
* View the procession as faithful sing
"W Krzyzu cierpienie"
("On the Cross suffering") (Video)
* Listen / Sheet music for "W
* Crucifix in a Polish-American Church
* 15th Century Chasuble embroidered with
* Listen to Chopin's Stabat Mater
* Pol/Eng Text and Music Selections from Szymanowski's
* Lat/Eng Text and Music Excerpt from Penderecki's
Passion of St. Luke
* Sheet music for "U stop krzyza"
(At the Foot of the Cross)
Bozy Grob * Grave of the Lord
On Good Friday, the violet draping
is removed from the Crucifix, which is displayed for public veneration,
and a tableau of Christ's Tomb is unveiled. Many of the faithful spend
long hours into the night grieving at the Tomb, where it is customary to
kiss the wounds on the Lord's body. A life-size figure of Christ lying
in His tomb is widely visited by the faithful, especially on Holy Saturday.
The tableaux may include flowers, candles, figures of angels standing watch,
the three crosses atop Mt. Calvary and much more. Each parish strives to
come up with the most artistically and religiously evocative arrangement
in which the Blessed Sacrament, draped in a filmy
veil, is prominently displayed.
* See the Bernardine Tomb in Krakow
* View the tomb at St. Helen's Parish,
* Tarnow painting: Jesus Removed from
the Cross (Oplakiwanie)
* Dla Dzieci / For Kids: Holy Tomb
to Print & Color
* Listen to: Dobranoc, Glowo Swiete
("Good night, holy head")
* Listen to a 16th century Polish Passion motet:
Krzyzu swiety i
chwalebny ("Holy and Glorious Cross" ca. 1558)
* Listen to Andrzej Rohaczewski's 17th century Crucifixus
Friday prayer for small children (in English)
* A complete website
on the Passion (history, devotion, archeology)
* Historical & archeological website on the Tomb