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What is the Friday of Sorrows devotion, or ‘Passion Friday’?

Our Lady of Sorrows

Pascal Deloche | Godong

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/30/23

Before Holy Week begins, the Church in various countries honor the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

For many centuries, the Roman Rite commemorated a special observance of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Friday of “Passion Week.” This was the Friday before Holy Week and acted as a preview of what was to come.

The commemoration no longer exists in the current Roman Missal, but it still provides an alternative prayer for that day (Friday in the Fifth Week of Lent), remembering Mary’s own bitter passion.

O God, who in this season
give your Church the grace
to imitate devoutly the Blessed Virgin Mary
in contemplating the Passion of Christ,

grant, we pray, through her intercession,
that we may cling more firmly each day
to your Only Begotten Son
and come at last to the fullness of his grace.

Outside of this nod to the older tradition, various cultures and countries still observe this day with great festivity.

Spanish-speaking countries in particular, as well as the Philippines, hold processions on this day, honoring the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

While it is no longer an official commemoration of the Church (though it is still observed in the 1962 Missal and in the Anglican Use), the traditions of local people continue to maintain it.

Devotions and FeastsLent
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