Good Friday mass were held at churches of all major denominations in the city to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The participants pledged to follow Christ’s teachings of tolerance and love. Special prayers were led for peace in the country.
Good Friday is observed on the Friday before the Easter Sunday. Christian tradition holds that after his crucifixion on the day, Christ was resurrected on the Easter Sunday.
Major gatherings of the day were held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the Cathedral Church, Mary Immaculate Conception Church, St Anthony’s Church, St Peters’ Church and St John’s Church.
Christian residents attended the gatherings in large numbers. Ritual food was distributed at the gatherings.
In his sermon at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Archbishop of Lahore Sebastian Shaw said Christ had supported peaceful co-existence and taught his followers to love their fellow humans.
He asked the audience to inculcate a habit of accepting other’s shortcomings and of forgiving them for their faults. He said there was no need to dress up in black clothes to express grief on Good Friday. “Consider it as a Friday of mercy,” he said.
Shaw said the year had been declared a year of mercy by Pope Francis. “The door of this cathedral can become the door of mercy if you seek God’s mercy here,” he said.
Joseph Shehzad, the rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral, later led the prayer.
The mass started with the ringing of the church bells. It was followed by recital of a passage from the St John’s gospel, Archbishop’s sermon and rites of the Eucharist and the Veneration of the Cross.
The rite of Eucharist features distribution of bread loafs dipped in wine among the worshippers. In Christian tradition, the bread loafs are considered to symbolise Christ’s body and the wine his blood.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Sameer John, one of the worshippers, said that the mass had started at 3pm because it was believed that Christ was crucified at that hour. He said no music would be played during worship till Sunday. “This is a period of mourning,” he said.
Advocate Nadim Anthony, another worshipper, complained that security arrangements by the district police were insufficient. He said the road in front of the Cat.hedral had remained open for traffic all day.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2016.