The number of people attending the Good Friday Mass was by far a good deal more than the number attending the Mass on Holy Thursday. To say it was "standing room only" would be an understatement. As full as the church was, there was an even greater number of people assembled outside listening to the Mass over the loud speaker.
When the time came for the veneration of the cross, those already inside remained seated until after those outside made their way to the front of the church to kiss the black cross held by the priest and his attendants. It surprised me that the cross was only a simple one and did not have a corpus like the one used in our parish back home. The crowd was so large that the veneration took more than an hour.Fortunately, there was a Eucharistic minister and alter boy at the front entrance during Holy Communion so it did not take as long for us to receive the Blessed Sacrament.
Near the entrance, on the left side of the church as you face towards the door, there was a statue of the Blessed Mother, dressed in black, obviously in mourning. Directly across from this statue was a glass coffin in which a statue representing the crucified Christ lay. After Mass, the two statue were brought outside the church and a procession was formed to take the two statues to different locations until Easter Sunday morning when they will be re-united.
My wife's sister, her husband and baby arrived from Dipolog Saturday night, along with a cousin staying with them who takes care of the baby. It was very late when they arrived which meant we were unable to go to bed early enough to wake at 3:00 A.M.. As much as I wanted to see the ceremony in the park, I could not bring myself to get up in time.
My wife and I took J.P. to the 8:30 A.M. Easter Mass. We would be returning to the church at 11:00 o'clock to be a part of our nephew's Baptism.
I am very happy to say that Cathy and I have the privilege of being the baby's Godparents.