The Word Among Us

July 2006 Issue

The Mystery of the Cross Shines Out

Jesus death is far more than a historical event.

By: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa

The heart of the liturgical service on Good Friday is the adoration of the cross, which incorporates the ritual of the unveiling: The pope receives from the deacon a cross veiled in purple. Three times he uncovers a part of the cross until it is completely revealed, and the actions are accompanied by these solemn words: "Behold the wood of the cross, on which hung the Savior of the world."

To me, this ancient liturgical ritual is the symbol of the mystery of the cross being gradually revealed throughout the centuries. Each stage...

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