Washing of Women's feet is completely forbidden by the Apostolic See. This is reserved to men, preferably twelve of number, thus it symbolizes the twelve apostles. (Source: Paschales Solemnitatis). From Jan. 16, 1988, No. 51 of the circular letter states: "The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came 'not to be served, but to serve.' This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained."
A day of mandatory Fasting and Abstinence (Canon 1251).
Upon entering our pews, we are to genuflect to the Crucifix not the tabernacle because the Eucharist is not present today in the Tabernacle (Source: GIRM 274).
The priest, upon approaching the altar, is to prostrate himself before it (USCCB). Concerning the adoration of the Cross, "A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who in the solemn liturgical action of Good Friday devoutly assist at the adoration of the Cross and kiss it" (Source). The crucifix should be covered in a red or black material. Also, the baptismal founts are drained on this day until the evening of the Easter Vigil.
This is the only day of the liturgical year in which Mass is not, and is prohibited from being celebrated. A Liturgy of the Word with Communion is done by a priest with the special rite prepared in the Sacramentary. Holy Father Benedict XVI permits black to replace the red in the Liturgy of the Word, but red most be worn for the Rite of Holy Communion. A cope is appropriate for the Liturgy of the Word, and is permissible for the Communion Rite. This distinguishes Mass from Communion Services.
While not required by the current Code of Canon Law, Traditionalists will abstain and fast until the Vigil Mass.
Readings should not be cut out. While the rubrics opt. for this, it is suggested that all be read. The Easter Vigil is the most important vigil in the Church and the readings "portray the whole history of human salvation, from the time of Adam to Jesus Christ." (PBXXI)
The Easter [Paschal] fast, from Holy Thursday evening through Good Friday, is sacred. According to ancient tradition, the Church fasts "because the Bridegroom has been taken away" (St. Mark 2:19-20) PS no. 39, (quoting Tertullian De ieiunio 2 et 13). Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence from flesh meat; (PS no. 60) it is also recommended, if possible, that the fast be continued on Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil; so that the Church, with uplifted and welcoming heart, be ready to celebrate the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection. (Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini, Feb. 17, 1966, II, 3; Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 110; General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, no. 20; PS, no. 39.)
The Book of Blessing notes in the introduction to the Blessing of the First Meal of Easter (nos. 1701-1723) that, “The custom of blessing food for Easter arose from the discipline of fasting throughout Lent and the special [Paschal] Easter fast during the Triduum. Easter was the first day when meat, eggs, and other foods could again be eaten. According to custom, food may be blessed for consumption at the first meal of Easter, when fasting is ended and the Church is filled with joy in the Resurrection."
Friday, March 30, 2007
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