Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Friday, 30 March 2018

Good Friday. Lenten Station At The Basilica Of The Holy Cross-In-Jerusalem.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

Good Friday.

Station at The Basilica of The Holy Cross-in-Jerusalem.

Indulgence of 30 Years and 30 Quarantines.

Double of The First-Class.

Black Vestments.

English: Basilica of The Holy Cross-in-Jerusalem, Rome, Italy.
Italian: Basilica di Santa Croce-in-Gerusalemme.
Latin: Basilica Sanctae Crucis-in-Hierusalem.
One of the masterpieces of the "Barochetto Romano"
by Pietro Passalacqua and Domenico Gregorini, from 1743.
Photo: February 2006.
Author: Anthony M. from Rome, Italy.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Lenten Station is at the Basilica, which, in Rome, represents Jerusalem, whose name it bears. It is Consecrated to Our Redeemer's Passion and contains earth from Calvary, some important fragments of The True Cross, and one of The Nails used in The Crucifixion of Our Lord.

On this day, the Anniversary of Our Saviour's Death, The Church gives her Temples an appearance of Desolation, and clothes her Ministers in the Garb of Mourning.


The first part of today's Liturgy recalls the gatherings that took place in the Synagogues on the Sabbath Day. The first Christian communities, composed as they were of convert Jews, took these assemblies as their model, at the same time subjecting them to necessary modifications, especially by early associating them with The Liturgy of The Eucharistic Sacrifice.

"The Virgin presents Saint Helena and Emperor Constantine to The Trinity".
The Ceiling in Santa Croce-in-Gerusalemme, Rome, Italy.
Painting by Corrado Giaquinto, from 1744.
Photo: February 2006.
Author: Anthony M. from Rome, Italy.
(Wikimedia Commons)

It is in The Mass of The Catechumens, that these are told that the Mercies of God are soon to descend on The Christian People, just as chastisement will fall on the faithless nations, Ephraim and Juda; for, at the very moment when the multitude of The Children of Israel will be offering the Paschal Lamb (Second Lesson), the Jews will be putting to death The Lamb of God on The Cross. This Death is described for us in The Story of Our Lord's Passion according to Saint John.

None having been said "In Choir" (In Choro), The Celebrant and The Sacred Ministers, in Black Vestments and without Lights or Incense, come before the Altar, where they prostrate themselves and Pray for some moments.

Meanwhile, the Acolytes spread a single Altar-Cloth upon the Altar. The Celebrant and the Ministers, having finished Praying, go up the steps to the Altar, which the Celebrant kisses, as usual, in the middle, afterwards going to the Epistle side. After this, a Reader, in the place where the Epistle is read, begins The First Lesson in The Tone of The Prophesies.

Portrait of Pope Urban VIII.
Artist: Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680).
Date: Circa 1625.
Current Location: Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome.
Note: Housed in the Salon of Pietro da Cortona of the Palazzo Barberini. Source/Photographer: Villas et palais de Rome de Carlo Cresti et Claudio Rendina, photographies de Massimo Listri, traduction de l'italien par Jean-Philippe Follet. Paris:Mengès, novembre 1998, p. 308.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Urban VIII (Papacy 1623 - 1644).
A large piece of The Cross was taken from Santa Croce-in-Gerusalemme, Rome, to Saint Peter's Basilica, on the instructions of Pope Urban VIII, in 1629.


The drama of The Passion is universal and, in one sense, will end only with The World, itself, for all men, by their sins, have taken a share in The Death of Christ. Jesus was bound to triumph through those very atoning sufferings, by which He became The Victim of every passion which shall agitate The Human Race until The End of The World.

For He has atoned for the pride of those who share the Hatred of Truth, which turned the Jews into murderers: The Avarice of those who are possessed by the demon of greed, which drove Judas to sell his Master; the lust of all who indulge in sensual delights, like Herod, who mocked Jesus and sent Him back to Pilate; the cruelty of those who love to cause suffering, like the Soldiers who struck Our Lord and insulted Him; and the cowardice of all who leave the path of duty, like The Apostles, who forsook Him, to Whom they owed everything.

Our Lord's Passion is the whole of humanity, hurling itself upon its Divine Healer, and yet cured by Him; yet, also, it is The Anointed of God, The King of Martyrs, Who, in face of all the generations who persecute Him, and before The Whole World, offers to His Father a Supreme Token of Submission, that of Blood, itself.

Christ on The Cross ! What a model of death to all our sins, of resistance to every temptation, of warfare against all evil-doers, and of the testimony which we, in our turn, ought to render to God, even, if necessary, at the cost of our very life.

English: Coat-of-Arms of Pope Urban VIII.
Français: Armoiries du pape Urbain VIII : d'azur à trois abeilles d'or posées 2 et 1.
Date: August 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Odejea.
(Wikimedia Commons)


In the second part of today's Liturgy, we have a relic of Prayers which were also a feature of the primitive gatherings previously mentioned. Of these Prayers, the only trace existing in The Roman Mass is the Oremus, said before The Offertory.

These Liturgical Prayers show us that the effects of Our Lord's Death extend to all necessities of The Church and of The Human Race. They even foresee The Conversion of The Deicide Race, who will one day recognise that Jesus is The

Imaginary portrait of Pope Gregory I.
(After Carlo Saraceni (1579–1620)) or Workshop of Carlo Saraceni.
Date: Circa 1610.
Current Location: Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome.
Source/Photographer: Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome.
This Image: July 2007.
User: Helix84.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Gregory I (Papacy 590 A.D. - 604 A.D.).
Ordered the construction of the Basilica's Museum.


This Ceremony owes its origin to a custom which prevailed at Jerusalem in the 4th-Century A.D., of Venerating, on this day, The Wood of The True Cross. Meanwhile, the Improperia, or "Tender Reproaches" of Christ to His people, to whom He had done nothing but good, were sung in Greek, which language was still partly in use in The Mass of every day.

When the Prayers are finished, the Celebrant takes off the Chasuble and he unveils The Cross, singing the words: "Ecce Lignum Crucis" ("Behold The Wood of The Cross"). Thence begins The Adoration of The Cross, by the Celebrant, Ministers and the people, during which The Choir sing "The Reproaches".


Good Friday, being The Anniversary of Our Lord's Death, there stands out before The Whole World The Blood-Stained Throne of The Cross, from which The God-Man Reigns. The Church does not Celebrate The Holy Mass, which is The Memorial of That Of The Cross; she contents herself with consuming The Sacred Species, previously Consecrated; which, in The Greek Rite, is the daily practice during Lent, except on Saturdays and Sundays. From this, comes the name "Mass of the Pre-Sanctified", since The Offerings are Sanctified (Consecrated), previously.


There follows Vespers, which are the same as for Vespers on Maundy Thursday.

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