Friday, April 17, 2009

Great and Holy Friday

SFC McG and I traveled by convoy last Friday to celebrate Good Friday at one of the bases we visit with some regularity. I'm reminded of this today, since my Orthodox friends are observing "Great and Holy Friday" today.

At that base we hold religious services in a tent, which fortunately is air-conditioned. It can get pretty cold in the winter, and beastly hot in the summer!

I brought along an icon my good friend, CPT T, had brought me back from his trip to Italy during his leave. I love icons. This one depicts the crucifixion as being the tree of life, and as is true of Western iconography from that time period, tells the story of redemption through the many smaller images contained within the larger picture.

Both in the Western and Eastern Churches (again, I'm not talking about L.A. and N.Y. here), the Good Friday liturgy is not a full Mass. It's technically called "the liturgy of the Presanctified" because of this. In the lower photograph on the right, I'm shown getting ready to distribute Holy Communion from hosts consecrated the night before at the Liturgy of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday.

One can also see the vents from the air conditioning system, which last Friday were turning the space into an igloo....

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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