Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Easter is a pagan celebration with only a tenuous connection, if even that, to Biblical events. Good Friday, however, is meaningful to me even if it, too, has questionable roots in Scripture.

Jesus may not have been crucified on a Friday, but I’ve always responded to the somber tone of this day. I remember how, as a young boy in Catholic school, class would be dismissed early every Friday during Lent and we would walk the short path to the church for the Stations of the Cross. I was more interested in being freed from the classroom, and was rather impatient to reach the last of those stations when I would also be free from my teacher and classmates. Still, I was touched by the retelling of our Lord’s journey to Calvary.

I was touched more deeply by King of Kings. In the late '60s, the 1961 film starring Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus often aired on Good Friday in the late night slot that Cleveland’s WJW usually reserved for horror movies hosted by Houlihan and Big Chuck. Once the movie concluded sometime around 2 a.m., I’d peer out the window of my family’s home on the city’s near west side, and the sky would always be red. It seemed symbolic of the Lord’s blood washing over His wretched, unworthy subjects. It was actually pollution from the city’s then thriving steel mills, but, no matter, I was moved.

The red would fade from the sky by Easter morning when I attended mass at St. Procop Church. Now the sun poured through the stained-glass windows as if to acknowledge the risen Christ.

He is risen!


© 2013 Brian W. Fairbanks


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