Naming is an ancient human behavior. It began in the Garden of Eden. God created all living things and Adam named them (Genesis 2: 20). Babies are welcomed into the world with a name or two or three. For the Jews, the man who names a child assumes fatherly responsibility for that child. When Julia and I were awaiting each of our children's entrance into the world, we had two sets of names ready as we did not know if we were having a girl or a boy. One of the names was discarded, however much we fell in love with it. This memo is not about baby names. It's about how we identify Friday of Holy Week. It is variously known as Black Friday, Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Good Friday. In Germany the day is known as Mourning Friday or Silent Friday or High Friday. The Norse call it Long Friday. Many traditions, many names. But, the same day for all. That Friday is this week. That Friday is when the Church details Jesus' journey to the cross and grave. He is the focus. He is the object of betrayal, hate and sadness. His journey from the judgment seat of Pilate to the Place of the Skull is more than solemn. It's layered with mortifying tragedy. The Son of the Living God is driven to his death. To call this day Good or Great or even Holy seems, at least, misleading. I know full well the theological reasons for naming the day Good or Great or Holy. To my mind, Silent or Long or Mourning or Black touches closer to the truth. Let's not rush the week by avoiding the atrocious fate of the Savior of the World. Yes, Easter is coming. First, we must pass through Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then we wait for the sun to rise on that Third Day.
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