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  #1  
Old Mar 24, '05, 8:38 pm
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Madaglan Madaglan is offline
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Default Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

The liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist are two necessary elements in order for a church service to constitute a mass. Since Good Friday only has a liturgy of the word, it does not constitute a mass.

Now, according to Catholic theology, the mass is the very same sacrafice of Christ on Calvary. The only difference is that the former is, judging from accidental properties, unbloody whereas the latter is bloody.

Good Friday commemorates the day on which Christ sacraficed Himself for us. It would seem to me that, if there should be any day that the sacrafice of the mass is to be offered, it is Good Friday. However, I do concede that there is probably something that I don't fully understand.

Today, Holy Thursday, we celebrated with mass the day on which Christ instituted the Eucharist. However, the institution of the Eucharist in the Last Supper is not the Sacrafice, which happens on Good Friday.

So, why do we not celebrate mass on Good Friday?

Is it simply because that the Good Friday service is written in a way that reflects the starkness of the Passion?

Is it to deflect attention away from the institution of the Eucharist (Holy Thursday), and the saving commemoration of the Sacrafice--a commemoration which only comes after the Passion?

I am very interested in hearing what people have to say!
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  #2  
Old Mar 24, '05, 9:07 pm
tuopaolo tuopaolo is offline
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Default Re: Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

My understanding is that the Sacrifice of the Mass is not only unbloody in appearance but also as a matter of fact unbloody. It is the same sacrifice as that offered on Calvary in that the Priest and Victim is one and the same. It differs in that the mode of offering is different. And one difference in the mode of offering is that on the Cross the mode of offering was bloody whereas in the Mass it is unbloody -- not just in appearance, but actually unbloody. So at Mass, Christ is in no way being crucified and is in no way shedding blood, except perhaps in some mystical -- and unbloody -- sense like you see in some Catholic paintings like the Last Vision of Fatima, etc.

But I'm not an expert

O, and I don't know the answer to your question. Sorry.
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  #3  
Old Mar 24, '05, 9:25 pm
pazdziernik pazdziernik is offline
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Default Re: Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

I suppose it is part of tradition (custom). I have always understood that the lack of a Mass of Good Friday signifies that Jesus is no longer on earth as man between Calvary and the Ressurection. After "The Mass of the Lord's Supper" on Holy Thursday Jesus is moved to an Altar of Repose. This signifies Jesus in the tomb. If this was done on Good Friday then we would not have a Mass perhaps on Holy Saturday. But the Easter Vigil is on Saturday. The Easter Vigil has a long tradition as well.
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  #4  
Old Mar 24, '05, 9:36 pm
tuopaolo tuopaolo is offline
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Default Re: Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

O I thought of something that might be part of the explanation. I've been told that Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil are all part of one liturgy, one liturgical celebration. It may have been a liberal priest who told me this so I don't know if I was told right.
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  #5  
Old Mar 24, '05, 9:47 pm
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Madaglan Madaglan is offline
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Default Re: Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

Quote:
Originally Quoted by tuopaolo:

My understanding is that the Sacrifice of the Mass is not only unbloody in appearance but also as a matter of fact unbloody. It is the same sacrifice as that offered on Calvary in that the Priest and Victim is one and the same. It differs in that the mode of offering is different. And one difference in the mode of offering is that on the Cross the mode of offering was bloody whereas in the Mass it is unbloody -- not just in appearance, but actually unbloody. So at Mass, Christ is in no way being crucified and is in no way shedding blood, except perhaps in some mystical -- and unbloody -- sense like you see in some Catholic paintings like the Last Vision of Fatima, etc.

But I'm not an expert

O, and I don't know the answer to your question. Sorry.
True, the mode of offering is different. However, I am not so certain as to what you wrote about the Sacrafice in the Mass as being "actually unbloody." The Mass is clearly unbloody in an accidental sense (it in appearance, and, were you to look at it under a microscope, is not bloody, but is bread), but in a real and actual sense, it does involve the real and actual blood (the essence) of Christ--the same blood that Christ shed on the Cross. Nevertheless, this presence of blood is mystical, as you mentioned, and not like the both accidentally and essentially present blood of Christ at Calvary.

Overall, I agree with you though: The Sacrafice of the Mass, although the same as the Sacrafice of Christ, is different in presentation.
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  #6  
Old Mar 24, '05, 10:16 pm
tuopaolo tuopaolo is offline
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Default Re: Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

I mean unbloody not in the sense of there not being blood, but in the sense of there not being blood shed. While the consecrating of the bread and wine mystically represent the separation of Christ's body and blood that took place on Calvary, no actual separation of Christ's body and blood takes place. When you receive from the chalice, you receive not the blood separated from the body, but the blood united with the body and with the soul and divinity of Christ.

I've been told that at the first Mass the blood and body was actually separated when Christ consecrated the bread and wine since Christ had not yet been resurrected. If I've been told right, this may perhaps be related to why there is no Mass on Good Friday ... or may be not.
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  #7  
Old Mar 24, '05, 10:56 pm
JustSomeGuy JustSomeGuy is offline
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Default Re: Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

this may not be a very exact answer, because i don't really have any teachings to quote for you.

when we use the word 'liturgy' we simply mean to say "rite" or "ritual". liturgy is commonly used in an attempt to avoid the cultural connotations that have come to be associated with "ritual" etc. we use "liturgy" almost synonymously for "Mass" to signify that it is the central ritual of the Church.) thus when you hear that the Triduum is a single liturgy, what is meant is that these three days are one structured ritual that consists of more than one Mass: the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the rites of Good Friday, including the Veneration of the Cross, the Easter Vigil, and the Mass of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. just as each Mass makes the sacrifice of the Cross present to us again, the liturgy of the Triduum makes the event of salvation present to us also. it follows the events of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection as they happened. the liturgy of Good Friday mirrors the friday on which the Lord died.

there is no reason, per se, why there is no Mass on Good Friday. it is that way now, because it is the ancient practice of the Church. in order to draw the faithful into the events which definitively secured our salvation, the Eucharist, which is always present in the tabernacle of the Church, is removed to the altar of repose, just as Jesus withdrew to pray in the garden and was later taken from the disciples to be put to death. the Lord, at the hands of others, gave up his life and withdrew from the world on Good Friday. so that we may become closer to sense of utter loss, no Mass is celebrated, so that we too can contemplate the loss of Christ in the tomb. a Mass would make Him present to us, but that is not an event of the original Sacrifice. Mass is celebrated on saturday night, since sundown is the beginning of Easter day itself. it also makes present the devotion of the disciples who kept vigil at the tomb after the sabbath ended, and who would later find the Lord risen at sunrise. because the Lord was known to be risen at sunrise, we don't celebrate the Easter Mass until then.

all of the elements were put in place over time. that's the basic scheme behind the Triduum. the development of the Easter Vigil as the main celebration of initiation also reflects the same kind of sentiment. the catechumens are prepared just in time to experience and participate in the risen presence of the the Lord.

keep in mind that Christ is not truly absent from us. a sufficient amount of the Eucharist is purposely reserved for the Communion rite on Good Friday, which is one of the rites of the day.

Last edited by JustSomeGuy; Mar 24, '05 at 11:08 pm.
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  #8  
Old Mar 24, '05, 11:38 pm
pazdziernik pazdziernik is offline
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Default Re: Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

According to my missal there is also no masses celebrated on Holy Saturday in addition to Good Friday. This leads me more to think that it is symbolic of Jesus-not-with-us or Jesus-in-the-tomb. (Yeah, I know Jesus is still present as Holy Eucharist in the Altar of repose.) The tabernacles are empty on these days. (That's why we have an altar of repose.)
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  #9  
Old Mar 25, '05, 4:30 am
aljamieson aljamieson is offline
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Default Re: Why is there no mass on Good Friday?

Hey all.


I'm going to take a shot at this one based on what little I know, but after I'm done here I'm going to find out more, and then I'll probably post another reply.

It is my understanding that the Triduum is a single Mass. While reading the posts, it occurred to me that it should be pointed out that "Mass" is the word we use because it refers to the dismissal at the end of the liturgy - the sending out. As all of you may have noticed last night, we have not yet been dismissed. This will occur on Saturday night. (The Easter Vigil, I think, is the proper end of the Triduum, and not the Easter Sunday masses. The days of the Triduum are counted from sundown to sundown, so Good Friday actually begins at Dusk tonight, and Easter Sunday begins at dusk tomorrow night).
So we have already had the Liturgy of the Word in this Mass - now onto other rites...!!

I love this time of year.

Love to all,
Alan J.
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