For various reasons we haven't been involved in Triduum services for a few years but decided this year to get to both Holy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies. By the time the weekend is over we will have been to a different church for each service.
Holy Thursday was a reverent Mass that ended with a Eucharistic procession and the chanting of Pange Lingua and Tantum Ergo. Unfortunately, the Mass was interspersed with music that would have been much more at home in West Side Story or some other such performance.
Good Friday at St. Patrick's was simply stunning. The service featured four altar servers, two seminarians, two deacons and both parish priests. I had forgotten about the prostration at the beginning of the service.
Father Brad has always given good homilies and tonight was no exception. He talked about being a true witness and having the courage to speak the Truth of Christ even when it means people will leave. He also praised Catholics United for the Faith for its efforts in the diocese (his parish sponsors our chapter). He also talked about his trip to the Holy Land and visiting the Church of St. Peter and the Rooster. This church was built over the house of Caiaphas, the high priest and it is in the caves beneath this house that tradition holds was the place where Jesus was held overnight. Father talked about how cold it was and that he had a lot of spiritual growing to do because he was ready to leave after twenty minutes but Jesus had been left there overnight.
Following the homily and the petitions (I wish they had been chanted), Father carried a seven foot tall cross to the front of the sanctuary for adoration. For some reason, this was a lot more moving than the standard hand-held crucifixes usually presented on Good Friday.
After Communion, Father told everyone that even though the parishioners are usually very outgoing and like to talk after Mass, to hold off out of respect for the day and just go quietly back to their cars. As everyone a single bell tolled.
On Sunday we will be going to Holy Ghost for Easter Mass. I have no doubt that the contrast between the somber Good Friday service and the joyful extravagance of Easter will be striking.