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The Greatness of Good Friday

The Archbishop of Westminster spoke of the “greatness of Good Friday” in his homily on Good Friday in Westminster Cathedral.

The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, said that Good Friday is the day on which we come face to face with suffering and death as we contemplate Jesus on the cross. Christ is, in the words of the Prophet Isaiah, ‘disfigured’, ‘without majesty, without beauty’. The Archbishop explained that this resonates with our own experience of “those we know who have been struck with great suffering either in years of strength or in the time of old age.”

Good Friday is when we see Jesus “not only accepting this suffering but also being overwhelmed by it, crushed and falling, like every human being, into the pit of death.” The Archbishop spoke of how “out of this suffering and death of Jesus a victory is being born……death is split open, destroyed, giving way to new, everlasting life.”

Suffering has found a new purpose in his gift of love on the cross. It is “the mysterious movement of love across the face of the earth, touching the hearts of so many.” Death is not the final oblivion, but the final door through which we must pass. The goodness of Good Friday is when we can “look death in the eye and embrace our dying Saviour who alone delivers us from its cold embrace.”

The Archbishop joined the Mayor of Westminster and many others who walked between Parliament Square and Westminster Cathedral in the annual Walk of Witness. This was then followed by a brief reflection and prayer at the end of the Passion Play held in Trafalgar Square.

Photos of the Walk of Witness, Passion Play and mass and  are available here

The full text of the Archbishop's homily is here