Read: “Wherefore, we ask, urgently and prayerfully, that we, as people of God, make of the entire Lenten Season a period of special penitential observance. Following the instructions of the Holy See, we declare that the obligation both to fast and to abstain from meat, an obligation observed under a stricter formality by our fathers in the faith, still binds on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. No Catholic Christian will lightly excuse himself from so hallowed an obligation on the Wednesday which solemnly opens the Lenten season and, on that Friday, called ‘Good’ because on that day Christ suffered in the flesh and died for our sins. . .. Gratefully remembering this, Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church.”
—St. Jerome, Letters, 22.37
The Friday of Sorrows is
a solemn pious remembrance of the sorrowful Blessed Virgin Mary on the Friday
before Palm Sunday held in the fifth week of Lent (formerly called
"Passion Week"). In Divine
Worship: The Missal
it is called Saint Mary in Passiontide and sometimes it is traditionally
known as Our Lady in Passiontide.
Friday of Sorrows
In certain Catholic countries, especially in Mexico, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Malta, Nicaragua and the Philippines, it is seen as the beginning of the Holy Week celebrations and termed as Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows). It takes place exactly one week before Good Friday, and concentrates on the emotional pain that the Passion of Jesus Christ caused to his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is venerated under the title Our Lady of Sorrows. In certain Spanish-speaking countries, the day is also referred to as Council Friday, because of the choice of John 11:47-54 as the Gospel passage read in the Tridentine Mass on that day (which is now read in slightly expanded form on Saturday of the fifth week of Lent), which recounts the conciliar meeting of the Sanhedrin priests to discuss what to do with Jesus. Like all Fridays in Lent, this Friday is a day of abstinence from meat, unless the national episcopal conference has indicated alternative forms of penance. A similar commemoration in sympathy with the Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Solitude is held on Black Saturday.