Pope Francis Observes Good Friday With Service in Front of Socially Distant Audience

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By Jessica Easthope

Pope Francis walked into St. Peter’s Basilica for Good Friday service in complete silence, prostrating himself and observing the most solemn day of the liturgical year.

Good Friday is the only day of the year when Mass is not celebrated. Last year, COVID-19 had Italy in its grasp and the Basilica was empty for Good Friday service. The country is now back on lockdown, but around 200 people stayed socially distant for service, Friday.

Good Friday service is rare in that Pope Francis does not give the homily, but during the solemn intercessions he did pray for victims of the pandemic and the world during this difficult time.

“All mighty, ever-living God, only support of our human weakness look with compassion upon the sorrowful condition of your children who suffer because of this pandemic relieve the pain of the sick, give strength to those who care for them, welcome into your peace those who have died and throughout this time of tribulation grant that we may all find comfort in your merciful love,” Pope Francis said.

After Good Friday service, the Pope prayed a version of the Way of the Cross written by a group of young people from a parish in Rome. This year’s meditations highlighted the struggles of children. The prayer featured drawings made by children from foster families and people who are assisted by the Church. The Pope prayed the Way of the Cross in St. Peter’s Square. Only the children who wrote the prayers were there.