In a solemn ceremony, Pope Francis led the liturgy on the Passion of Our Lord in St Peter’s Basilica, before thousands of pilgrims.
Pope Francis arrived a few minutes before 5 o clock. As he made his way to the altar, before the Cross, the Pope laid face down on the floor as a sign of penance and worship. The Pope eventually got up, with a bit of difficulty, with the help of two assistants.
He then gave his blessings to the three deacons who sang the Gospel on the Crucifixion and death of Jesus.
The preacher of the papal household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa gave the homily, focusing on the temptation and betrayal of Judas. He explained that even now, money continues to be a false idol.
FR. RANIERO CANTALAMESSA
Preacher of the Pontifical Household
"Money is the anti-God because it creates an alternative spiritual universe; it shifts the purpose of the theological virtues. Faith, hope, and charity. This provokes a sinister inversion of all values.”
When it comes to sin, he also highlighted that Jesus sheds His mercy, despite betrayal.
After the homily, the Cross was venerated and the Pope knelt before it several times. Then the procession began.
The Pope kissed the Cross before it was placed on the altar, by the tomb of St. Peter.
A Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday, so a Consecration does not take place. However, pilgrims receive Communion, with Sacramental bread that was consecrated on Holy Thursday.
It's the day of reflection on the Passion and suffering of Jesus. The darkest night before the Day of the Resurrection.