Why It Is Important To Grieve on Good Friday

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“One of the most traditional and popular devotions in the Christian world is the Stations of the Cross…every generation of Christians, driven by some instinct of faith, has tried to retrace the steps of Jesus to Calvary, discovering that he continues to journey with us in our own passion and way of the cross. ” -Father Virgilio Elizondo

I’ve been thinking today about this tradition within the Catholic church to retrace the passion of Jesus. In Destino, we have many Catholic students that will go to mass today and take part on this meaningful and beautiful experience. They will take time this Good Friday to grieve the death of Jesus and to grieve the fact that, as Elizondo writes, “suffering has not been erased, loneliness continues, and betrayal and abandonment of friends break my heart”.

I appreciate this about the Catholic faith, that they take today during Holy Week to pause and grieve before Easter Sunday. We in the Evangelical world can often rush past grief out of anxiety or fear of it, where as many of our Catholic brothers and sisters recognize the value and necessity of it in truly experiencing hope in the resurrection.

So today on Good Friday, I want to invite us to stop and to grieve with the saints as we think about the death of our Savior. Just as the quote from Elizondo illustrates, let us take time today to “mourn with those who mourn” knowing that the fullness of the Kingdom has not yet come. There is still injustice, pain, brokenness in our world, and it deserves our sorrow as we look to the cross that reflects the agony of our Savior.

In what ways can we be present this Good Friday in the realities of those around us that are suffering? While sorrow and loss may be common, that doesn’t make it normal. The world is not as it should be and grieving is our way of acknowledging that painful truth knowing our Savior intimately relates. Isn’t that ultimately what compassion means? To share in the pain of another? Let’s be people of compassion today agreeing with those who are hurting that the world has yet to be made new. Today let’s make space in our lives for grief knowing that Christ understands our suffering and also knowing that hope is coming.

photo courtesy: jam343

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Posted on April 6, 2012

About destinokristy

A Latina, DestinoKristy served with Destino from 2008-2013.

3 Responses to Why It Is Important To Grieve on Good Friday

  1. David T. Ulrich says:

    Amazing that we re-grieve the Death every year. Thousands of years of grieving for Christ.

  2. Margaret Yu says:

    Kristy, I loved what you shared about the station of the Cross. I was kind of bummed this Good Friday because our church could not do the ceremony this year. So, was looking for other churches to do this w/ But alas, I should have looked more in the Catholic churches. I love your challenge to grieve over the fact that sufferings and imperfections and pain  still remain and that this is NOT yet the Kingdom. But it will COME soon.  I love that. I have been thinking alot about suffering. So, this is a good challenge. We have lots to learn from different traditions of faith, huh?  Love to you. Thanks for your great thoughts. Happy Easter. 

    • destinokristy says:

      Thanks for commenting, Margaret!  Yes, I agree this is one way that the Catholic tradition can and is blessing Protestant churches that have taken up the Stations of the Cross service on Good Friday. Elizondo in the book I quote in this post talks about how Latino culture resonates with this tradition because of how we view suffering and grief.  There was more to the Good Friday experience that included a time to mourn w/ the mother of Jesus in her sorrow over her son.  Such a powerful picture of how Latinos view empathy and compassion too.  

      Hope your Easter is filled with hope, friend.  Much love and know that I’m so thankful for you.