From Saint Wiki
Friday (Good or Holy ). Good Friday is the day of God's mercy, because it is the day on which Jesus Christ, by an excess of love, incomprehensible to every created mind, suffered the greatest torments, and expired ignominiously on the Cross, in order that we might be healed through His wounds, washed in His blood, and that in His death we might find the principle of our true life. We call this day Holy or Good Friday; it is also called Parasceve, which means a preparation, it being the day in which the Jews prepared for the celebration of the Sabbath. Our ancestors gave it the name of Adoration Friday, on account of the solemn worship of the Cross which takes place on that day. The Greeks call it the Pasch of Jesus Crucified, and the Sunday following it, they term the Pasch of Jesus Resurrected. In the office of Good Friday, everything inspires compunction, and all the ceremonies and prayers tend to penetrate the soul with the most profound and salutary affliction. The bells are silent on this mournful day, the candles are extinguished, the altars are stripped of their ornaments; over the main altar a simple cloth only is extended to symbolize the winding sheet which covered the dead body of the Saviour. At the commencement of the office the celebrant and his assistants prostrate themselves upon the floor, testifying by this posture the bitterness in which the heart is plunged at the thought of the ignominious death which Christ suffered in order to take away from us the yoke of the devil. On Good Friday the holy sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated. Although it is a real living representation and continuation of the Sacrifice on the Cross, it can inspire us only with joy and fill us with consolation; but these sentiments are incompatible with the mourning of the Church on account of the death of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless the order and many ceremonies of the Mass are preserved therein; it is called the Mass of the Presanctified. This Mass was formerly observed on fast days by the Eastern Churches, during which the priest and faithful communicated by receiving the hosts which were consecrated the preceding day. The office of Good Friday commences with two lessons taken from Holy Scripture, which are followed by the reading or chanting of the Passion, according to St. John. After this the celebrant offers solemn prayers for all the states and conditions of life, for the just as well as for the unjust, and even for heretics, schismatics, Jews, and pagans, because Jesus Christ died for all men, and wishes all men to be saved. The foregoing solemn prayers are followed by the adoration of the Cross. The Cross, covered with a veil, to signify that the mystery of the Cross had been hidden for a long time, is now solemnly uncovered. After having uncovered the Cross, the celebrant raises it and shows it to the people, with these words: "Ecce lignum crucis" (behold the wood of the cross); the deacon and subdeacon sing with him: "In quo salus mundi pependit" (upon which has rested the salvation of the world), to which the choir replies: "Venite adorcmus, (Come let us adore). Then the celebrant and ministers having taken off their vestments, prostrate themselves three times and adore the Cross. The people likewise do the same. After this the celebrant goes in procession, without singing, to the Repository to take to the altar the sacred Host which had lain in the Repository from the preceding day. Arriving at the main altar, the priest proceeds with the Mass of the Presanctified, so called, because he consumes the sacred Host which had been consecrated the preceding day. According to the present discipline of the Church, neither clergy nor people may communicate on Good Friday; an exception to this rule is made in favor of those in danger of death. See HOLY WEEK.