Bishop Thomas talks Good Friday and Notre Dame fire

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Good Friday is part of a three day celebration in the Catholic faith: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. All of which are leading up to Easter Sunday.

Bishop Daniel Thomas of the Toledo Diocese calls these days the most sacred time in the church.

"These three days make up a mystery and today, of course, is at the heart of that mystery, because the cross is at the heart of our lives," said Bishop Thomas.

Good Friday is the only day of the year there is no mass. Instead there is a liturgy.

"During that liturgy folks will hear the word of God as they do at every celebration in the Catholic Church. Then they will venerate the cross and then they'll receive Holy Communion," said Bishop Thomas.

There's also a Stations of the Cross ceremony.

"Walking the way of the cross through the suffering of Jesus until his crucifixion and classically those 14 stations," said Bishop Thomas.

Worshipers fast, abstain from meat, and some take a vow of silence for three hours: honoring the three hours Jesus spent in agony on the cross.

Beyond those traditions, this Holy Week there is a shift in focus at each service following the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.

"I think that fire has moved all of us to think more deeply how deeply do we believe and live that faith," said Bishop Thomas.

Bishop Thomas believes the striking images of the cross surviving the destruction left by the flames keep hope alive.

"Because in the end what is celebrated in the building, which is the mystery of these three days: passion death and resurrection of Jesus," said Bishop Thomas.

He says if anything, the fire has deepened and strengthened his faith.

"We certainly hope that as we praise God that cathedral can be rebuilt. We also hope it enlivens our own faith and strengthens that faith," said Bishop Thomas.

For details on local parish schedules this Easter weekend check out toledodiocese.org.