Ecce lignum Crucis, in quo salus mundi pependit.
Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Savior of the world.
"Let the faithful be led to understand properly today's special liturgical act, in which the Passion of our Lord is solemnly chanted; prayers offered for the needs of the whole Church and the human race: the Holy Cross, monument of our Redemption, is adored most devoutly by clergy and faithful, the whole family of Christ: finally, as for hundred of years was the practice, all who wish and are duly prepared go forward to receive Communion with this as their chief intention, that by devoutly receiving the Body of the Lord (which He delivered this day for all men) they may enjoy richer fruits of that Redemption/ Let the priest urge the faithful to make this sacred day one of loving recollection, neither should they forget the law of abstinence and fasting." - Extract from General Decree restoring the liturgy of Holy Week
During the Adoration of the Cross on the Good Friday liturgy, the antiphons and responsories of the Improperia, or the Reproaches, is sung, "forming one of the most tragic features" of the Good Friday liturgy. The Improperia creates a mournful atmosphere during the Adoration of the Cross and presents to the faithful the sorrows of Christ, while recalling events in the Old Testament when God saved His people and they turned away from Him.
In a spirit of reparation, let us call to mind all that God has done for us, personally in our lives, and ultimately the salvation of our souls through the death of His Son upon the Cross.
Click here to listen to the chanting of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John in Latin.