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My Blog

On Our Knees on Good Friday

Good morning to all.  Well, today promises to be a good day here in the Chicago land area.  Sun is already bursting its splendor as it is rising into the sky.   Yesterday was a very busy day and today will hopefully be a bit calmer for me.  I have prepared for a performance that was surprisingly changed to another topic.  But out of that surprise came more.  I uncovered some wonderful new stories to tell. 
Well, today's blog continues an Easter theme.  I was sitting here this morning with my body aching from yesterday's marathon.  As I attempted to cross my legs, my knees spoke loudly that they are sore and aching.  It for some reason, took me back to my childhood and my Grandmother. 
On Good Friday, it was a tradition to go to church at 3 in the afternoon.  I remember walking from our home in Cragin on Latrobe Ave. to St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Church about 4 1/2 blocks away from home.  Now St. Stan's was a magnificent cathedral like church.  It was tall and white and the front of the church greeted you with this long stretch of steps upward to the doors where more stairs greeted you indoors until you reached the main floor. 
On Good Friday, at the front, up by the alter, which by the way was a great distance from the entrance laid this large cross of Jesus hanging on it.  This was the day of the crucifixion.  We would enter the church doors and immediately lower ourselves to our knees.  It was customary to walk up the entire length of the aisle on your knees to the cross where once reaching it, you  would be able kiss the wounds that were on the feet and hands of Christ.  I remember that day vividly, but it wasn't until today that I realized just how difficult that must have been for my Grandmother to have done.  I know that when we are young...almost anyone over the age of 40 is perceived ancient.  My Grandmother must have been my age today and she also suffered from psioriatic arthritis and it was especially awful in her knees.  Yet, on that day, we knelt down together and crawled those perhaps 50 yards long.  It never dawned on me until this morning how difficult that must have been for my grandmother to do, but none the less we did it together and without a word from her.  When we reached the front and kissed the wounds on the statue, there was a basket at His feet to place a donation in.  Now this was a very big deal and something that was our tradition.  I remembered getting up from our knees and then walking the parameter of the church and  stopped at each station of the cross to pray and then at the end lighting some candles and leaving.  As we exited the church, it would amazingly be dark and gloomy outdoors.  Grandma always told me that those clouds and darkness was always sent to remind us of the crucifixion and the way it looked on the day that Jesus died.  Now, as I have grown older, and each Good Friday has rolled around, I notice that it isn't always so dark and gloomy outdoors, but in my mind, that time of the day and that memory remains.  Perhaps this year, at 3, on Good Friday which is tomorrow...I will get on my knees and reflect not only on that day...but the original day that Christ was crucified. 

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