Paris Veneration de la CroixBy Moïse Bahuwimbuye, SJ
Centre Sevres, France

Good Friday is a special day in the liturgical year. It is the only day in the year that has no eucharistic celebration in the Catholic Church; and it is a day on which we contemplate the climax of God’s love, where the Son of God is crucified because of His love for humanity. In Paris, many Christians gather to celebrate the passion of our Lord and Eglise Saint Ignace (Saint Ignatius Church) is not different. This year, a way of the cross was held twice at 12h15 and at 15 hours, followed by the celebration of the Passion of the Lord at 20 hours.

The celebration of the Passion of the Lord was divided in three parts : the liturgy of the Word, the veneration of the Holy Cross and the holy communion. The celebration of the Passion of the Lord was read by many persons : a narrator, a priest standing for the character of Jesus and many others standing for other characters involved in the scene. Some instrumentals served as transitions to mark significant moments of the scene and a short homily was delivered to highlight the love of God manifested by the sacrificial offering of his only Begotten Son.

Before the veneration of the Holy Cross, there was a time for solemn intercessions for the Holy Church, for the Pope, for all Orders and degrees of the Faithful, and for the Catechumens. The veneration of the cross that followed thereafter was a great moment during which some Christians were caught up with strong emotions as the proceedings followed suit.

After the celebration some Christians took a time to pray in silence while others came near the cross to touch it before leaving. It was a memorable experience to all of us that impelled us to meditate the greatest love of our Lord Jesus who gave his life for our salvation.

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