Cardinal Nichols leads prayers and reflections on Good Friday
On Friday 25 March, Good Friday, Cardinal Vincent Nichols marked the Lord’s Passion in central London by attending the Walk of Witness in Westminster and the Wintershall Passion play in Trafalgar Square before celebrating the Solemn Liturgy of the Passion at Westminster Cathedral at 3pm.
Walk of Witness and Passion Play
At 12pm, Cardinal Vincent took part in a procession with other Christians in a Walk of Witness along Victoria Street, from Methodist Central Hall and Westminster Abbey to Westminster Cathedral. The procession was led by a man carrying a Cross, symbolising Christ’s journey to his death. During the Walk of Witness Cardinal Vincent preached to the assembled crowd who had gathered to join the procession.
After the Walk of Witness, Cardinal Vincent attended the annual Passion Play held in Trafalgar Square performed by the Wintershall Players where he led prayers.
Solemn Liturgy of the Passion
At 3pm, the Cardinal led the Solemn Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord in Westminster Cathedral. Also at the Liturgy were the chaplains of Westminster Cathedral, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, and Bishop Mark Jabalé, Bishop Emeritus of Menevia.
In his homily, Cardinal Vincent pointed out that Good Friday this year has a particular poignancy: ‘This year there is a lovely and rich moment. Today is 25 March, usually the Feast of the Annunciation, of the conception of Jesus in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. There was an ancient tradition according to which Jesus dies on the Cross on the same day as his conception, his incarnation. These mysteries, his Incarnation, the Cross, the Resurrection are inseparably connected.’
Cardinal Vincent also drew attention to the Year of Mercy prayer card that had been placed on seats in the Cathedral before the liturgy. He reflected on the image of the Trinity on this card saying: ‘Here we see, in our imagery, the Father stooping down to raise up his Son, in and through the power of the Holy Spirit.’
He continued: ‘When the Father stoops down to lift up the body of Jesus, he is stooping down to lift up us all. In the bond of the Holy Spirit he lifts us up, every one of us, out of every mess we make, every sin we commit, every hole we dig if only we will put ourselves, like Christ, into his hands. Let us do so today.’
On Good Friday, celebration of the sacraments does not take place; rather the Body of Christ, consecrated at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, is distributed during Communion.