Went to Holy Thursday mass last night, one of the most profound masses of the year and the beginning of the Easter Triduum - Holy Thursday (which commemorates Christ's Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper), Good Friday (the Passion and Crucifixion) and Easter (the Resurrection).
The holy oils were presented (oils used in the anointing of the sick, the anointing of catechumens, and at baptism), and at the end of the mass, the Holy Eucharist was covered (more like shrouded) and removed in a solemn, silent procession for a period of special adoration.
Today, Good Friday, is a day of fasting and remembrance of Christ's passion, and is the only day of the year when there is no mass - that is, the elements of the Eucharist are not consecrated on that day, though communion is offered (from wine and bread consecrated on Holy Thursday). Catholic Encyclopedia explains,
There is also the Veneration of the Cross (wherein the faithful kneel and give reverence to the cross by touching or kissing it). You can find out more about the liturgical traditions of the Good Friday in this Catholic Encyclopedia entry, which explains to those who might object to such veneration of objects that...
This all helps to emphasize more clearly the joy of Easter and the resurrection, and helps us to remember that there is no path to the resurrection but through the suffering of the cross. There is no path around the cross. The pain of the cross is our gateway to eternal bliss. As Father Corapi would say... "No pain, no gain"...
Or as St. Paul said, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:17)
And according to St. Peter, "...rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." (1 Peter 4:13)