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Catholic Activity: Good Friday Lamentations

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This traditional Polish chant is sung throughout Lent, especially on Good Friday.

DIRECTIONS

Aside from the strict observance of fast and abstinence during Lent and making the Way of the Cross - there is a unique and exclusively Polish devotion called the Gorzkie Zale which means literally, "Bitter Sorrows." This devotion is divided into three parts, consisting of hymns or lamentations and meditations on the Passion of Our Lord.

Although these lamentations can be recited, their full beauty and true value are to be found in the traditional chant with the entire congregation taking active part. Only when this is accomplished can the real value and effect upon the soul be fully appreciated. Without a doubt, were these devotions to be presented to the American Catholics they would most readily be accepted.

On Good Friday, according to the full liturgy of the Church, the Crucifix is unveiled and presented to the faithful for veneration. After 3 p.m. a replica of Christ's body is laid in a sepulchre and covered with flowers. Groups of people go from church to church to worship at the tomb.

Activity Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994

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