Saturday 4 April 2015

Blogging Holy Week: Good Friday

One of the Sunday school asked the right question last week: "Why is the Friday called "Good" when Jesus is killed? Shouldn't it be 'Bad Friday'?"

That is a good question indeed. A brief scour of sources (Wikipedia!) has a few views - it comes from "God" Friday, or "Holy" Friday, because of how important the death of Jesus is believed to be (this second one being the answer I gave the young scholar). In Germany it is (apparently) known as "Grief Friday". It can be known as "Black Friday" (again, apparently) although we had no major discounts on consumer electronics at church this week.

It is the deliberately low point of the week. The churches are bare and sparse, stripped out the night before. I took pity and did allow heating on. But there is little music, much silence. There was an unpreached-upon reading of John's passion. It says it all, without the need to say any more. Simple wooden crosses are on display.

I recall, as a child, the veneration of the crucifix on Good Friday - kissing the metal nail through the metal feet of the metal Jesus on the middle-sized cross. We wiped the feet between each person's kiss (I was a server). It was profound and strange and stays with me to this day. The little metal figure on the crucifix in Dunoon that I face for the eucharistic prayer draws me back to that memory. Good Friday every Sunday...

At the Good Friday liturgy in Dunoon there was silence before the service. Except for the contractor's yard next door. Where some ordinary chap was hammering at something, in a solitary, measured way. An ordinary person, going about their business, hammering nails into something. A bit like an ordinary Roman crucifixion soldier, going about his everyday business, nearly 2000 years ago.  Death as an ordinary thing, in Israel, in Kenya, in Scotland.

But something can make it extraordinary...

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