Apr. 15, 2023 01:49 PM
The crucified Christ at the altar of Quiapo Church this Good Friday 2023 (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
On the second day of the Easter Triduum, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ at exactly 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2023, the Quiapo Church observed the rites of Veneration of the Cross, presided over by Rev. Fr. Rufino Sescon, Jr., Rector, and Parish Priest, with his fellow priests in the parish, Rev. Fr. Jonathan Noel Mojica, Rev. Fr. Hans Magdurulang, Rev. Fr. Robert Arellano, LRMS, and Rev. Fr. Paul Edison Medina, OCarm.
The Quiapo Church clergy and other priest concelebrants kneeling before the bare altar and in front of the red-veiled cross (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
During this occasion, many people wonder why this particular celebration is called “Good Friday” by the Catholic Church, wherein this could be the worst event that had ever happened to Jesus Christ, to be humiliated, mocked, and crucified on the cross like a criminal.
However, Fr. Sescon, Jr. enlightened the faithful in his sermon by saying:
Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr. Rector & Parish Priest, delivers his homily and leads the Veneration of the Cross (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
“Binaliktad ni Hesus sa krus ang lahat. Pinapanibago ni Hesus Nazareno ang lahat. Kaya kung wala daw si Hesus Nazareno sa krus, hindi magbabago ang krus. Lahat tayo dito ay may krus, pero ang tanong nandoon din ba si Hesus Nazareno sa krus ng ating buhay? Dahil kung wala si Hesus Nazareno, mananatiling pangit, karumaldumal at masama ang krus.” (Christ reversed everything through the cross. Christ transformed everything. Hence, without Christ on the cross, the cross will not change. All of us here do have our own crosses, but the question is, does Jesus the Nazarene present on the cross of our lives? Because without Jesus the Nazarene the cross will remain ugly, gruesome and bad.”)
One by one, devotees and parishioners line up to touch and venerate the Cross (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Thus, the celebration of Good Friday is seeing more of the good things out of the worst day that ever happened in humankind’s history- the death of Jesus Christ. Jesus had indeed turned His crucifixion to be good, just like when the world was created by God, where He sees everything is good. However, the problem is when the faithful become too familiar with their own crosses, literally or figuratively.
Community of faithful reciting the Lord’s prayer, Our Father, during the Holy Communion part of the celebration of the Lord’s Passion (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Further, Fr. Sescon, Jr. said that as the faithful kiss and venerate the cross and the image of Jesus the Nazarene himself, they should also ask for that special grace for conversion, to experience “metanoia” or the transformative change of heart. It is indeed Jesus’ power to change everything for good. Hence, the cross became the symbol of a new beginning.
Lay Ministers carry the image of the dead Christ for the traditional Santo Entierro procession with people participating outside the church (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
After the rites of Veneration of the Cross, the procession of the traditional Santo Entierro around the communities of the parish of Quiapo Church followed, where approximately five hundred parishioners and devotees joined the said procession. The celebration lasted almost three and a half hours, beginning at 3 pm and ending at 6:22 pm.
– Alfrein O. Quirionez | EIAM & ADRM
Mater Dolorosa and St. John the Apostle joining the procession of the dead Christ (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)