A Good Friday Invitation

By Jenny Dendinger

Two years ago, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Latin Mass Community started a Good Friday tradition that our family now participates in every year.

We began with Lamentations in the church. Father threw rose petals into the air and blessed us with holy water while we sang.

As we moved outside to begin the procession, a hauntingly beautiful dirge filled the air. Police blocked traffic while a man carrying a small wooden cross stepped onto the frontage road that parallels the highway. Behind him, altar servers dressed in red cassocks were carrying lanterns and incense. The statues of the body of Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows were carefully lifted into the air and carried on the shoulders of the men in our community. The priests, deacons and seminarians followed closely behind them.

Women carried banners honoring Our Lady, and teenagers wore costumes to represent the Stations of the Cross. Hundreds of adults and children from the local community solemnly followed.

As the sun set, cars swiftly passed on the highway next to us. Our slow and steady pace served as a stunning reminder that it wasn’t just another Friday.

Our procession then travelled through the streets of the neighborhood close by. The somber music invited families outside as we passed. It was beautiful to witness – especially the elderly bowing their heads in prayer.

We ended the night by placing the statues in a grassy area illuminated by torches. Huddled together, we prayed a rosary.

In previous years, my husband and I struggled to find a way to spend Good Friday that felt appropriate. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. This procession is a beautiful way for our family to honor Jesus and contemplate His sacrifice.

If you are searching for a meaningful way to spend Good Friday, please join us this Friday at 5 p.m. in the Northshore Catholic Center, 4465 Hwy. 190 East Service Road in Covington.

I pray that it will be an experience you’ll forever hold dear to your heart.

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