A Short History of Good Friday Services
Until 1955, a Good Friday service was celebrated in the morning. Then, there developed what was called “Tre Ore” or “The 3 Hours” in Italian. It took place from noon to 3 p.m. (the traditional hours Jesus was on the cross. I remember not being able to watch TV during that time.) Often, there were homilies about the “7 Last Words of Jesus.” In 1955, Pope Pius XII moved the Good Friday service to the afternoon. Often, the Stations of The Cross are prayed at 3 p.m. and a special Liturgy takes place in the evening so more people can be there. The Good Friday Service now includes: a Liturgy of the Word, Special Intention Prayers, Veneration of the Cross, and a Communion Service. Everyone leaves in silence in anticipation of the Easter Vigil.