Date: Friday, March 25
Time: 7:30 pm
This Liturgy marks Christ’s crucifixion, but it is not a funeral. Instead, the focus is on extolling the glory of the cross, through which all creation has been redeemed.
The Church is bare and the ministers enter in silence. The Liturgy of the Word concludes with the Choir performing a sung version of the Passion. The sermon and the Solemn Collects follow. In praying the Solemn Collects, we pray on behalf of the entire world for which Christ died.
After the Solemn Collects, a heavy wooden cross is brought in by a priest, and positioned at the top of the Chancel steps. Time is allowed for worshippers to come forward and venerate the cross by kneeling before it, touching it, standing next to it, even kissing it.
During the veneration of the cross, the Choir sings The Reproaches, in a setting by Tomás Luis de Victoria. Christ, in the words of The Reproaches, rebukes us. We are to understand these rebukes as directed to all humanity, and that we all, through our sins, are brought to the judgment of the cross, and there forgiven and saved by Christ. In response to the saving power of the cross, we conclude the veneration by singing the ancient hymn Pange lingua (“Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle”).
The service concludes with a brief communion taken from the bread consecrated the night before at the Maundy Thursday service.