Good Friday is a very solemn day for Catholics all over the world. Three cardinal activities take place to mark the day. The first is the stations of the cross which is a reenactment of the passion of Christ, second is the veneration of the cross and the third is reception of holy Communion.
Of the three, the veneration of the cross is the least understood by non Catholics. While some think it is idol worship, others see it as sheer fanaticism.
An Augustinian priest Reverend Father Eugene Inobeme sheds light on the significance of this ceremony.
“When we come before the cross we venerate it. Veneration is a religious way to show admiration.
” The kissing of the cross is from the Roman culture. The Romans show acceptance for persons by Kissing them. Remember the story of the prodigal son.”
The priest kiss the altar before start of mass to show that we respect what it represents. After reading the Gospel, the priest kiss the Bible to show that we respect what of represents “
Fr.Eugene went on to explain that when Catholics kiss ,bow or touch the Cross during the veneration, it is a way of showing gratitude to God for salvation through the cross, a way to show respect for the significance of the cross.
Catholics like all Christians believe that the death of Jesus on the cross over 2000 years ago brought about their salvation.