Readings: Isaiah 52:13–53:12/Hebrews 4:14–16, 5:7–9/John 18:1–19:42

Kissing the Cross

During the Good Friday liturgy, we’re invited to take part in the “adoration of the Cross,” the only time, as far as I know, when that word is used. True, it’s the object of our Redemption, but adoration is exclusively reserved for God. This particular veneration, then, is pretty serious stuff.

In my parish, a large, bare wooden cross is carried down the aisle by two strong people, set up in front of the sanctuary, adored by the ministers — usually by kissing the wood, or simply by touching it — and then the congregation is invited to come forward and do the same. If the accompanying hymn is “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” I try unsuccessfully to hide my tears, leaving some of them on the cross when I kiss it.

Prayer: Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the Savior of the world.