BRIDGEPORT—An air of reverent silence filled the Cathedral Parish of Bridgeport as hundreds gathered for the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion service at St. Augustine’s.
“He who was forever such in the glory that is his right as God, emptied himself so that you and I, born and destined to be poor and die, to revert back to the ashes out of which we were formed, can now enjoy the glory of divine life itself,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano during his homily.
“And because words falter before such great a mystery,” he continued, “the Church asks us to adore the very wood of the cross, to look upon the instrument of our salvation, in the knowledge that as we truly look upon the wood, look upon the cross, it will begin to teach us, to whisper to us in our hearts what it is we are celebrating today.”
“It is the great testimony before all creation,” the bishop said, “that God loves us, God seeks us and we are His if we are only willing to be embraced by that God.”
“Through His sacrifice, the new high priest has broken the back of sin and death and it is in this love that we are not simply affirmed, we are saved, we are redeemed, we are set free. He comes to us to caress us in our challenges, to heal our wounds and give us hope,” the bishop said.
“If there’s ever a moment in your life, my friends, where you wonder if anyone loves you…look to the cross of Christ,” the bishop encouraged the congregation, “Look to the cross of Christ and realize that you are worth everything, even the life of a savior. What a great and awesome mystery that defies words because it speaks to the very soul of your life.”
The Liturgy of the Word included the proclamation of the second reading in Spanish, reflecting the diverse community of the Cathedral Parish.
The rest of the service included the beautiful chanting of the Gospel of the Passion of our Lord, the showing, adoration and veneration of the Holy Cross and a reading of the solemn intercessions.
During the veneration of the Cross, members of the congregation processed forward to kneel before, kiss or lay a hand on the Cross.
“Let us keep our eyes fixed on the cross,” the bishop said, leaving the congregation with one final message. “For there is our hope, our salvation and our glory.”