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This solemn service includes the reading of the Passion of Christ according to St. John. Those assembled then offer special prayers for the entire world. A large crucifix is then venerated by the people with a kiss or another form of reverence.
The Good Friday commemoration of the Lord’s Passion is austere but without a sense of defeat. The Church fasts because her spouse has been taken away.
We proclaim the account of his Passion and Death. With detailed intercessions we pray for the whole world because Christ died for all. We venerate the cross as sign of love for the instrument of death through which Christ manifested his love for us. Finally, we are nourished with the Eucharist consecrated the evening before. We leave without song or words, reflecting the solemn quiet and starkness this day demands.
Abstinence from meat is to be observed on Good Friday and on all Fridays of Lent.
The law of abstinence applies to those 14 years of age and older. Fasting is also to be observed on Good Friday. The law of the fast means that only one full meal may be taken during the day; two light meals are permitted. The consumption of food between meals is prohibited, but liquids may be taken at any time. The law of fasting binds those who are between the ages of 18 and 59.
The faithful are reminded that every Friday of the year is a day of penance in memory of the passion and death of Christ. The bishops of the United States recommend prayer, penance and almsgiving, as well as abstinence from meat, on all Fridays of the year, particularly for the intention of world peace.