“Hope in the midst of suffering”, Good Friday 2022

Holy Friday was the second day of our Easter camp 2022. All the activities of our days were intended to bring us closer to Christ in suffering, and to take part in his passion. Our day started by the morning prayer. As good Friday is the day of the death of Christ on the cross, all the prayer of that day were as sober as possible. For example, we spoke the psalm instead of singing, the chapel was emptied of its decorations. Also together we tried to live good Friday in fasting mode.

To help us understand what fasting means why it is important, Doklala, gave us a short introduction to fasting after the morning prayer. She reminded us that in the church we are asked to fast twice a year: on ash Wednesday and on Good Friday. The goal of fasting is not to be hard for us, but it is to help us unite to God. Part of fasting is to stop eating, to eat less or make efforts, but it is also a spiritual experience to seek internal silence in which we will meet God. It was so beautiful to see all the community trying together to fast. Prayer and fraternal bonds were like transfigured. Despite the difficulty of the fast, there was joy and contemplation.

After a light breakfast, it was time for the teaching of Doklala: “Hope in the midst of suffering”. Following it was the manual work. And as Holy Thursday was day of remembrance of the gift the Eucharist, Good Friday is the day where Jesus dies on the cross to save us from sin. For this we had the opportunity to go to confession during all morning. Indeed, father Mark preaching the Easter camp was joined by father Edwin receive all who desired live the sacrament of reconciliation.

The afternoon started with the adoration of the cross. Father Mark celebrated the office of the cross. We call it office of the cross and not mass because it is not a mass as we usually have. Indeed, it is the only day in the year where there is no consecration. During the communion, we receive the Eucharist from the the Eucharistic reserve of the day before.

At that point there was still one thing to do: climb the mount Tagapo! We prepared everything to climb the mountain and have the traditional way of the cross, sleepover and morning prayer on the top of the mountain. For this the cooking team prepared picnics for everybody, we picked up some tent, mattresses, water, and as the pope said we put on our walking shoes. This experience of physical effort done together and then of prayer and fun activity was amazing. Seeing everybody helping each other to carry the heavy water tanks, the cauldron, the tents, was showing the fraternity and the love we share.

Arrived at the top, I was part happy and shocked. Happy, because the effort was worth it, the view is amazing and the experience together is forgetful. But shocked by the lack of care the tourists who climb the mountain have. There was trash everywhere. But I was consoled seeing all our group taking time to clean everything before leaving the place. I also saw some other people joining us.

Still we shared a great time all together in the beautiful creation of God. We did the way of the cross, then every fraternity demonstrated their talents through a presentation (singing, dancing, theatre…). In the morning we went to the top to pray the morning prayer with the sun rising before sharing a hot beverage.