What is so ” Good” about Good Friday?

You all know I am a huge fan of our Presiding Bishop & you all also know that I love collecting clever things said by other people. But let me confess something: I never understood why the Friday of Holy Week is known as “Good Friday”
After all, on this day :
The altar is bare.
The nave is stripped of all adornments.
Priest, acolyte , server & choir are vested in simple black cassocks.
There is total silence as the congregation files into the nave sans organ music.
The cross on the east wall is shrouded in funeral black.
But Bishop Katharine reminds us:

-“The Christian community is about shared hope in resurrection… first buoyed hope among a people exiled in a foreign land, without the support of familiar leaders or places of worship. That people developed a community that could practice its faith in a strange land, insisting that God was present among them even in exile.”
-++ Katharine Jefferts-Schori. 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
We walked the Stations Of the Cross today as part of the Friday Of Holy Week liturgy.  Different members of the congregation took turns at carrying the cross  as we processed as a group from station to station. There was so much  going on in my mind , but in spite of the somber prayers of the Stations, I could not help but feel a sense of kinship with and among  the members of my parish family gathered there to walk with Christ to Calvary.
 Each & every one of us is  guilty of  betraying  Our Lord, Jesus Christ. All of us carry this burden deep within ourselves. None of us likes to look in the mirror & see a sinner. I know I don’t But the truth of the matter is that  our actions every day betray Our Lord Jesus Christ.There is a song, and for the life of me I cannot recall the words verbatim, that I learned many years ago. At any rate: here is what I remember
” It is I Lord? Is it I who nailed You to a tree/ Is it I, Lord?
We are all sinners, and at no other time in the liturgical year am I aware of my sinfulness than on this day. Each day I fall short of being the person God wants me to be. 
But the glory of the Resurrection  is in knowing that, although I am a sinner, God’s love is a love that is totally incomprehensible by we humans. Amen.  We are bound as Christians by the faith that Jesus Christ of Nazareth died for our sins on that Friday so long ago. But unlike the first Christians, we know” the end of the story”. Our Book of Common Prayer  says so eloquently
Christ has died
Christ has risen
Even in what might seem hopeless, there is hope.  God exists , even in exile. The same God who protected the ancient Israelites  on that firs Passover is with us now, as we trace Christ’s stept to Calvary & eagarly await the discovery of the empty tomb on Easter morning. 
Good Friday 2010

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