(Reprinted from article in 2009)
It may not seem strange to you, but I am still getting used to it. On Good Friday, after the Liturgy of the Word, we go forward and venerate the Cross.
There aren't very many times when I still feel like a neophyte, but this night is one of them. I feel my Catholicity fully this night, as though for the first time ever.
I am glad to be part of this strange and unfamiliar faith tradition. It is an awesome thing to see each person kneel and kiss the Cross of Christ. The beautiful and youthful ones. The aged. The littlest child. My husband and daughter. The priest. The altar servers. My friend. A student from my confirmation class.
It is a sacred moment, and as far as I know, no other faith tradition does this. It is
Catholic. So very Catholic.
Then, we receive the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I would imagine that this is a very special night for those who suffer, and most especially those with terminal illness. First, we venerate the Cross and then the Eucharist comes to us on this night, the night of his death.
All of us are on this journey to Easter promises, but we realize that Easter Morning only comes by way of the Cross.
It is almost too much. My heart is full, and when I see them all kneeling to kiss the Cross, then all moving as one to receive the Body of Christ on this night when He gave up His own Body, I am blessed to be Catholic – and to receive Christ, by way of the cross.