By Emily Drooby
No bells, no candles, no crosses – the St. James Cathedral Basilica in Brooklyn was bare on Good Friday.
“It’s a symbol of mourning, a symbol that Christ is in the tomb,” said Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. “So, we take away most of the symbols that would distract us from concentrating on the death of Christ.”
Betrayed by Judas the night before, Jesus carried his cross to the place of his death while being flogged and ridiculed, on what is now Good Friday.
In the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop DiMarzio presided over the Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion and Death, complete with the reading of the Passion and the universal prayers. However, the Adoration of the Cross was different this year because of the pandemic.
“We will not kiss the cross, but it will be shown to the people,” explained Bishop DiMarzio.
The communion was also different, but not because of the pandemic — because it’s part of Good Friday. It’s not a Mass, but instead they use the host that was consecrated the night before on Holy Thursday. It’s another way to remember the sacrifices that were made.
“Jesus died for our sins, he saved us, he’s our savior and redeemer,” explained Deacon Ronald Rizzuto of St. James Cathedral Basilica.
For parishioner Charles Lee, this was his first Good Friday Service. He came to Brooklyn all the way from Bayside, Queens, and told Currents News he’s hoping it will deepen his faith.
“Being in the presence here and seeing what goes on, I’ll be able to experience and gain something that I’ve never thought about and hopefully that will be meaningful too,” he said.