Belfast Telegraph

Good Friday is marked by Christians across the world

By Staff Reporter

Christians across the world commemorated one of the holiest days of the calendar yesterday in a number of ways.

Pope Francis prostrated himself in prayer during a solemn Good Friday service in St Peter's Basilica. The 80-year-old Pope lay for several minutes before the central altar. He wore crimson vestments for the day, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus.

Several times during the service Francis bowed his head in silent reflection.

Papal preacher the Reverend Raniero Cantalamessa told the faithful they were recalling the "violent death" of Jesus 2,000 years ago.

He said they marked it, even when most days bring news of violent deaths, because his crucifixion "changed forever the very face of death".

Rev Cantalamessa said the cross was the definitive "'No' of God to violence, injustice, hate, lies". Pope Francis was scheduled to give his own homily last night at the traditional Way of the Cross procession in the ancient Colosseum in Rome.

In Londonderry, leaders of the four main churches in Northern Ireland came together to lead the Christian Walk of Witness on Good Friday through the city centre.

At the head of the procession were Methodist Reverend Peter Murray, Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe the Rt Rev Ken Good, Derry and Donegal Presbyterian leader Rev ​Michael Russell, and Catholic Bishop of Derry, Most Rev Donal McKeown.

Meanwhile, in Lisburn a similar Good Friday event had proved controversial when Presbyterian clergyman Rev Michael Davidson refused to take part on theological grounds.

The Presbyterian Church was represented by its Moderator, the Rt Rev Dr Frank Sellar, in the city.

He was joined by the Church of Ireland Bishop of Connor the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, clergy from the local Church of Ireland, Catholic and Methodist communities and worshippers as they walked through the city's streets in remembrance of Christ's death on the cross.

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