Today the Church stands in awe and silence at the foot of the Cross, adoring the Lord of glory, “whom they have pierced” (Gospel of John 19:37).

The Liturgy this day is very austere. First of all, there is no celebration of the Mass, though there is a ceremony at mid-afternoon, recounting the Passion and crucifixion of the Lord, which includes the veneration of the Cross and reception of Holy Communion.

The Divine Office is devoid of the usual opening invocations, hymns and “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit” after each psalm. Instead, we simply chant the psalms and listen to some Scripture readings and writings of ancient Christian authors.

May this Holy and Good Friday be an opportunity for us all to listen to the Lord, who desires to speak to our hearts. It will entail stillness and silence. Are we willing?

Abbot Christian and the monks