Friday, April 06, 2018

Good Friday 2018 Photopost (Part 1)

Once again, our photopost series continues to demonstrate the richness of our Catholic liturgical heritage; here we have the ceremonies of Good Friday in both pre- and post-Pian form of the EF, as well as the OF, and Vespers of Good Friday in the Melkite liturgy. I would call our readers’ attention especially to the first set of pictures from Munich, where we have an interesting example from Germany of popular devotion in a liturgical context. There will be at least one more of these before we move on to Tenebrae, the Easter vigil and Easter Sunday; as always, with our thanks to everyone who sent these in!

Damenstiftkirche - Munich, Germany (FSSP)
From Mr Berthold Kress, who provided these photos: Here we see an example of a popular Bavarian custom. On Maundy Thursday not one, but two Hosts are reserved for Good Friday. Immediately after the priest’s Communion on Good Friday, the second is placed in a veiled monstrance, then carried in a solemn procession to be exposed at the “Holy Sepulchre”. This sepulchre (which is normally set up is the same place as the altar of repose) also contains an image of the dead Christ, and is traditionally decorated with glass balls filled with coloured water, behind which candles are placed. These sepulchres were often large stage-like structures, but most disappeared after the so-called Enlightenment, and many of the survivors after Vatican II. However, they have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, not only among traditionalists. The Exposition ends on Good Friday evening, and is nowadays in some places resumed on Holy Saturday morning. During the Easter Vigil (more traditionally, I think, during or after the Mattins of Easter) the figure of the dead Christ is removed, and a risen Christ is placed at the top. (This custom is described in some German medieval liturgical books as a formal part of the liturgy. We will see a similar custom below at Heligenkreuz Abbey.)
Another example from Munich, in the crypt of the so-called “Asamkirche”, dedicated to St John Nepomucene, and built by the Asam brothers, the most influental Bavarian artists of the early 18th century, as their private chapel.
St Vitus - Los Angeles, California (FSSP)
Heiligenkreuz Abbey - Heiligenkreuz, Austria
Sacred Heart - Albany, New York
St Joseph - Troy, New York
St George Melkite Catholic Church - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Vespers of Great and Holy Friday, served by the monks of Holy Resurrection Monastery in St Nazianz, Wisconsin ( The prayers before the epitaphios (burial shroud) are the Lamentations from Jerusalem Matins of Holy Saturday. The congregation processes with the shroud as part of Friday Vespers, and then pass underneath it, as seen below. Everyone then venerates the shroud and is given a flower to take away from the decorations of the epitaphios and funeral bier.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - Peoria, Illinois
St Clement - Ottawa, Ontario (FSSP)
Mission Saint-Irénée de Lyon - Montréal, Canada (FSSP)
Chapelle St Augustin - Lausanne, Switzerland (FSSP)
Fr Franck Quoëx, who is buried in the cemetery of Lausanne, explained the symbolism of this arrangement for the Adoration of the Cross to me once: the purple cushion underneath represents the regality of Christ, which is temporarily hidden, so to speak in the sufferings which He undergoes in His mortality, which is then itself hidden by His burial shroud until the Resurrection on Easter morning.

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