Commemorating Good Friday at St. Peter the Apostle, Reading

The community of St. Peter the Apostle, Reading gathered to commemorate Good Friday and accompany our Lord Jesus Christ in His journey of a painful passion, crucifixion, and death. The people of God participated with great reverence, singing hymns, and offering penitential prayers.

“This is a beautiful tradition that has been followed since the early ’80s when my family and I arrived in Reading from Puerto Rico,” said Salvador Sepúlveda, a member of the Holy Name Society.

The Good Friday festivities were presided over by Monsignor Thomas Orsulak, pastor, and Father Juan Eduardo Rodríguez, assistant pastor. The solemn activities included the Living Stations of the Cross, the Liturgy of the Word, the veneration of the Cross, and the reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus through Holy Communion.

‘“Viernes Santo’ translates into English as ‘Good Friday,’” said Monsignor Orsulak. “This literal translation reminds us that this is the Friday of God’s goodness and also of the mercy, and the total surrender of the Son of God for the salvation of the world. On this Good Friday, we pray for peace, for the Church, and above all, for our catechumens who will receive the Sacraments of Initiation this week.”

Approximately 50 actors participated in the dramatization of the Living Stations of the Cross, representing various parish groups. They were all under the direction of Sister Marta Muñoz, prioress of the House of the Poor Sisters of St. Joseph, one of the three convents affiliated with St. Peter.

“We are doing this to renew our faith in Christ, who died for us,” said Sister Marta. “Thus, we grow in faith and bear witness so that more people come closer to God. We are in a time of much suffering and war. All Christians have the obligation to offer sacrifices, ask, and plead to the Lord for our brothers and sisters who are suffering in many parts of the world.”

Hundreds of people joined the procession that began at Riverfront Park, at the intersection of South Third Street and Spruce Street, and culminated at St. Peter.

Father Rodríguez explained during the conclusion of the liturgy that the Cross serves as a reminder of Jesus' act of redemption on Good Friday, where He willingly bore the sufferings of humanity. This act of sacrifice is a profound and mysterious display of love for all.

These solemn acts concluded with the participation of the people of God in the veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion.

Article and photos by Waldo Alvarado, principal at St. Margaret School, Reading.


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