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Friday, April 22, 2011

GOOD FRIDAY LONG COMMENORATED IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY  2011

The observation of Good Friday has been part Valley culture for hundreds of years. It's first commemoration arrived with Spanish missionaries who were members of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM), called Franciscans.
At 3 pm in the church of the Mission San Fernando Rey de España, altar cloths were removed, the tabernacle box was unlocked and left open with the sacred vessels stored away. Statues were covered with black cloth and paintings turned to face the wall. Holy water fountains were emptied and all candles extinguished, not to be lighted again until Easter Sunday. The great mission bells were stuffed with cloth, and smaller altar bells replaced by wooden clappers that sounded a lot like castanets. After 3 pm no one genuflected until the Easter Mass to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by Roman soldiers on this day.
In the Mission courtyard, a black banner was draped over the great wooden cross. Many Spanish and Indian Catholics ate nothing from Good Friday afternoon until the Easter Pascal candle was lighted on Easter morning.

Historic Easter Greeting Card - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011 - (click on image to enlarge)

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