SCRANTON – Faithful throughout the Diocese of Scranton observed Good Friday on March 29 with various street processions and liturgies in their parishes.

The Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, which was led by the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, allowed people to pray and reflect on the significance of the day.

The solemnity of Good Friday was underscored as Bishop Bambera and the other ministers processed silently into the Cathedral at 12:10 p.m. The Bishop and Deacons then prostrated themselves on the sanctuary floor before the liturgy began.

Bishop Bambera and Deacons serving the Good Friday liturgy prostrate themselves on the floor of the sanctuary at the start of the service. (Photos/Mike Melisky)

On Good Friday, the faithful observe the passion and death of Jesus Christ. They are encouraged to ponder the five Sacred Wounds Jesus suffered during the crucifixion and bring their own wounds and sins to the foot of the cross. In His own body, Jesus brought our sins to the cross so that all of us may be healed.

Father Jeffrey D. Tudgay, Pastor of the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Immaculate Conception Parishes, served as homilist for the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion. He focused much of his remarks on that redemption.

“In Christ, and through His cross, everything in God’s beautiful creation is redeemed,” Father Tudgay said.

Father Jeffrey D. Tudgay, Pastor of the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Immaculate Conception Parishes, delivers the homily on Good Friday.

Having just listened to the Passion of Christ in the Gospel, Father Tudgay reflected on the “silence” of God as Christ was on the cross.

“As the drama of Christ’s arrest and condemnation unfold, and as he’s goaded to call down the powers of heaven into the agony of the moment, the suffering servant (Jesus) cries out from the cross, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’ The Father’s response: silence,” Father Tudgay said.

The Cathedral pastor compared that with other moments when the Father’s voice was “clearly heard” – including at his baptism at the Jordan River and the Transfiguration.

Father Tudgay suggested that the Father’s silence can deepen our understanding of the love of Christ.

“What we see in the cross of Jesus Christ is an expression of the urgency of God’s desire – Christ stopping at nothing – in order to fulfill the mission given to Him by the Father,” Father Tudgay explained. “The cross of Christ is everywhere in our world. It’s the eyes of faith that allow us to see it. The cross of Jesus Christ makes God’s love tangible for all.”

Wrapping up his homily, Father Tudgay said Christ’s plea resembles any human suffering that might seem to go unheard or unanswered.

Faithful line up inside the Cathedral of Saint Peter March 29 to participate in the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday.

“What we know today and what we contemplate today is that the silence is fully redemptive,” he said. “Today the silence that the Christian church observes is an invitation for us to contemplate the radical compassion of God, to know with certainty, that there is nothing, nothing in human existence, even death itself, that is alienated from the redeeming presence of the cross of Jesus Christ.”

Following Solemn Intercessions, Adoration of the Holy Cross took place inside the Cathedral of Saint Peter. Each person in attendance was invited to approach the sanctuary and genuflect, bow, kiss, or show an appropriate sign of reverence for the cross.