We had a beautiful Good Friday in my family. Despite all that is going on at work, I did manage to take the day off yesterday to recognize Good Friday. The day was marked by two very special events, neither of which had been planned.

As a matter of course, our family recognizes each year the hours of 12-3 as a time for quiet, prayerful reflection on the sacrifice Jesus made for us all those years ago. Typically, it is a time marked by personal reflection, bible reading and prayer. However, yesterday as my older daughter, my son and I were all quietly sitting in the family room reading our individual bibles, the kids started to ask me some questions, starting with how to interpret the actual hours of the crucifixion based on Mark 15:25. This question lead to another and another. I decided to put down my reading and take this opportunity to have a meaningful discussion with them. Shortly, we were joined by my wife and younger daughter and we had a long, vibrant discussion on Christianity, Easter, Catholic tradition and Church History. After about an hour and a half, we prayed the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a family. It was a wonderful family faith experience.

Our other new experience was a Tenebrae service. We were preparing to go to the veneration of the cross service at our parish at 7:30, when my wife asked what the schedule was at Incarnation, a neighboring parish. Their schedule showed Tenebrae service at 7. I honestly had never heard of this service, so I quickly googled it and found this explanation. This struck us both as a very appropriate service for Good Friday, so we hopped in the car and headed off to Incarnation. When we arrived, Monsignor asked me if I would do some of the readings, which I was happy to do.  The readings were read from the pews, very informally and (as is intended) had the feel of a prayer service for a departed loved one. This service was very befitting of our Good Friday and I was thankful that we tried it.  If you haven’t tried it before, I recommend it.

I must confess however that the last readings were very difficult to read since the sun had pretty much set and the font size was small.  I will have to suggest to monsignor either an earlier start or larger type for future.

I guess the lesson of the day is that sometimes it is best to let go of your planned activities and let the Lord guide you to new places.

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