The crux of the commemoration of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ in the Roman Catholic Church was reached in the early afternoon with the recounting of the Passion according to the evangelist St John, the Adoration of the Crucifix, followed by Holy Communion. On completion of these ceremonies the Good Friday processions began. Today TVM was in Xagħra in Gozo, where one of the four Good Friday processions in Gozo takes place.
On the day, the church altar is bare, bereft of the Holy Cross, candelabra and altar cloth. The Church has commemorated the Passion and Death for a century and with great solemnity. On Good Friday the Holy Mass is not celebrated but the faithful are urged to attend Church at about 3 pm to participate in commemorations characterised by their collective spirit and simplicity. At the start of ceremonies the Parish Priest and fellow priests venerate themselves on the floor as a gesture of respect, with the Church congregation united in silent prayers.
This is followed by the vocal liturgy that recounts the Passion of Jesus Christ according to St John, an account that differs from other evangelical accounts in that it recounts the Passion of the Lord after he accepts from the Father the trials and tribulations he has to undergo in overcome sin and death. The central point of the ceremony is reached with the Adoration of the Cross where the celebrant repeats three times that this is the wooden cross on which the Saviour of the World was crucified, with the audience kneeling as a sign of respect for the Holy Cross.
The congregation then approaches the Cross in single file to bestow a kiss of respect on the Holy Cross. An altar cloth is then laid out on the Altar of Repose and the Holy Sacrament is placed there for the rite of Holy Communion, the only time it is permitted on Good Friday. This ends the ceremony, accompanied by a short prayer, without any singing for the congregation to contemplate on the death that enabled the salvation of the world.
The final climax of events is reached with a number of processions from different churches, 12 in Malta and four in Gozo, depicting the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ.