Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion Readings

The readings for Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion are the same for years A, B, and C:

  • First Reading: Isaiah 52:13—53:12: “We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.”
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 31: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
  • Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 : “he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him”
  • Gospel: John 18:1—19:42: “So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.”

Themes for Good Friday

On Good Friday, Catholics remember the death by crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This is a solemn day of fast and abstinence.  Traditionally mass is not celebrated on Good Friday. Instead a service with a reading of the passion of Jesus Christ, veneration of the cross, and distribution of communion (consecrated on Holy Thursday) is held.

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for Good Friday.


Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross are a lovely Lenten tradition. It the devotion, we make the journey to Calvary with our Lord Jesus Christ, focusing on how he suffered for us and his interactions with those he met on the way. 

Lent and Triduum Cryptogram Puzzle

This printable cryptogram is a fun way to introduce youth to the vocabulary for Lent and Triduum. Each word is encrypted and definitions are given. Youth must consider the definition and then decrypt the word

Prayerfully Read the Passion of Our Lord

We are all familiar with the Passion story. We hear it every year on Palm Sunday and on Good Friday. But when we read it at Mass, we read it at the same pace as the whole congregation.

Where Have You Been? (Reflection on the Passion of Jesus Christ)

Reflect on the sentencing of Jesus. It works well if one person reads the scripture and another reads the meditation. It includes a set of questions for small group discussion.

First Person Stations of the Cross

This mediation will take youth through the way of the cross. They will see each station as if they were there. The prayers are meant to relate to their own lives.

Make Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are traditionally served during Lent, particularly on Good Friday in some parts of the world.  The cross on them reminds us of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Attend Good Friday Services

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. On Good Friday, Catholics commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, who died to redeem us. There is no mass on Good Friday, but your local parish will hold a liturgy to remember this day.

Homilies and Reflections

Understanding the Holy Triduum

The feasts of Holy Week—Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter—are fulfillments of the three spring Jewish feasts with which they originally coincided. We refer to the three great liturgies of Holy Week—the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, Good Friday services, and the Easter Vigil—as the Holy Triduum.

The Empty Tabernacle of Good Friday

The tabernacle normally has a light that always shines on it, in addition to the vigil lamp that is always lit to remind us of the Real Presence. On Good Friday, though, there is no light and no lamp. The door is open and with its plain, empty, square interior it seems so dead and useless.

Mark Hart on Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion and Death

What does the cross mean? In this video, Mark Hart describes the physical process of crucifixion. Jesus chose to be beaten, humiliated, and killed for us. When you wear that cross on your neck or make the sign of the cross, think about it.

Why Do We Call It “Good” Friday?

It was on this day that the New Adam repaired the damage that the old Adam had done. It was on this day that the temple veil was torn in two. It was on this day that the gates of heaven were open to all.

Broken (so that we could be made whole)

This video from LifeTeen shows how Jesus Christ is waiting for us in all of our messy sinfulness. Jesus was broken so that we could be made whole. It focuses on the Pascal Mystery.

More Thoughts

Jesus came to be a revelation of God’s love. Through the cross, he is the final revelation. He shows us that Love is self-emptying and self-giving. “Why did Jesus die?” The discourse from the Garden of Gethsemane shows us that he did not want to die. But people resented and feared his revelation.

So a better question to reflect on might be “Why did humanity kill Jesus?” We prefer a harsh god whom we could predict and control. Instead Jesus shows us that God is wildly out of control with His boundless love for us.

Reflection Questions

  • What crosses do I need to face today?
  • What are my emotions on this day?
  • Do I miss the sacrifice of the Mass?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for Good Friday

The cross expresses love, service, unreserved self-giving: it truly is the “tree of life”, of overabundant life.

Pope Francis

Anyone who turns away from the Cross, turns away from the Resurrection.

Pope Francis

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