Faithful participate in the prayer service.
Faithful participate in the prayer service.
“The Crucifix is not a decoration we simply hang on a wall or put atop a building. The Crucifix is the most powerful reminder of the greatest love the world has ever known: one wooden beam pointing from the earth to the sky, pointing our attention to God; another wooden beam pointing from east to west, pointing our attention to our fellow human beings.”

The significance of the Crucifix was the focus of the homily Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. preached on Good Friday, April 15 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, where he presided over a noontime prayer service that commemorated the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ.

PHOTO GALLERY:  Good Friday 2022 with Bishop O’Connell

PHOTO GALLERY: Good Friday 2022 in St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Cinnaminson

“What brings those two wooden beams, those two directions together, is a single body, his body, Jesus Christ, whose life of suffering and transforming love was a life and a love for all: a crucified love that has endured and will continue to endure.  A love that turns the wood of a tree, the tree of defeat and death, into a tree of life and victory.”

During the prayer service that included a Liturgy of the Word with the reading of the Passion and the reception of Holy Communion, Bishop O’Connell recalled the words of the venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen who once said, “Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”

Those words and the importance of Good Friday resonated with the faithful in attendance.

“Easter is a culmination of everything. Without [Good Friday] we wouldn’t have an Easter, like our Bishop said,” Grecia Montero, a parishioner of the Cathedral, shared.

Her husband John agreed, “Good Friday and Easter is the foundation of everything it means to be a Christian. It is important that we commemorate that.”

“Good Friday is the day when Jesus died for us, it means a lot to me,” fellow parishioner, Carmen Lopez said.

Out of lingering concern for the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Veneration of the Cross by individual congregants was not part of this year’s prayer service. Instead, Bishop O’Connell also blessed the congregation with a relic of the True Cross.

The prayer service was livestreamed on the diocesan YouTube and Facebook channels.  A recording of the service and Bishop O’Connell’s homily can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/trentondiocese.