Good Friday – also known as ‘Holy Friday’, is a Christian Holiday and one of the most integral days of Christian’s Easter Celebrations. It is mainly observed by Christian communities during Holy week – as part of Paschal Triduum. Since, Easter is the moveable feast and is tied to the spring equinox (the date of the first full moon) – so it does not have the fixed date, so is the date of Good Friday.
This Year, for Easter 2019 celebrations, Good Friday will fall on 19th April 2019.
Time To Good Friday – When is Good Friday?
Why Good Friday? What Happened on Good Friday?
Many Christians – worldwide observe the Good Friday on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. As per the historical dates, it is observed as the day of prayers, penance, fasting and meditation to commemorate the anniversary of the crucifixion of Lord Jesus Christ on Cavalry hill – The mount of olives outside the Jerusalem nearly 2.000 Years ago.
Good Friday commemorates the passion, suffering, crucifixion and death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and enjoins the believers to remember his sacrifices for the wellbeing of the humanity. Every Year, Good Friday takes place the day after Maundy Thursday, when Jesus Christ along with his companions had his final Passover meal – Last Supper.
How do Christians Celebrate Good Friday?
As Good Friday is the Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his demise at Calvary. Christians all around the world observe this day by engaging themselves in fasting and praying. Church services are held usually in the afternoon – around midday to 3pm to coincide with the hours of Jesus’s Crucifixion – where they celebrate the day by singing the hymns, thanksgiving prayers, reading scriptures, sermon talk about the significance that the day holds and observe the communion supper.
In few countries, Good Friday is a public holiday, while in others, it is a federal or state holiday. Most of the followers take day off from their scheduled work to attend special church services and prayer vigils, while some go for work on this day.
Many countries from all around the world including Spain, celebrate Good Friday through Parades. In several countries, such Parades feature the Penitents – people who are very sorry for their wrong doings. They make sacrifices by doing tough tasks as commemoration to the hard sufferings experienced by Lord Jesus when he crucified to save humanity.
They perform this penitential act by wearing long robes and carrying a large and heavy wooden cross while having the parade walking across the streets. On the other hand, dozens of volunteer devotees perform penitential act at extreme level.
Some devotees mark this day by holding balls with spike on them and then throwing them on their while bleeding, while some even perform the actual crucifixion.
In several Countries – especially in Central and South American countries there is a possession of paintings and statues in churches and home to signify the mourning. These are Often the paintings and statues of Jesus, Mary or some other renowned saints.
In Greece, Good Friday is the day of mourning, so people avoid performing household chores and go to the churches to attend the symbolic funeral possession of the Christ. Some Orthodox Churches have even models of ‘tombs’ as the center piece of the sacred service to help crowd remember the Jesus died.
One of my most favorite Easter Good Friday rituals is Hot Cross Bun- the most recognizable symbol of Easter is often eaten as a traditional Easter food on mothering Sunday and Good Friday across the world. These are sweet Yeast dough buns topped with cross and filled with raisin or sultanas. This so tempting confection tastes even more delicious with butter coating on it.
The cross topping on Hot Cross Bun is said to represent and signify the crucifixion of Jesus, and the raisins filling symbolize the spices used to embalm Christ’s body at his burial.
Why Good Friday is perceived as ‘GOOD’?
Why Good Friday is called ‘good’, though it is such a sorrowful, dark and bleak even commemorating the day of crucifixion and death of Lord Jesus Christ. For Christians Community, Good Friday is the most integral and crucial days of the year because it celebrates and honors the most momentous weekend in the history. The death and resurrection of Jesus has occurred to be the most decisive turning point for all creation.
Christians remember this day as a sacrifice by Jesus their committed sins. This day is proceeded by Easter, the celebration of the day Lord Jesus was raised from the dead – pointing ahead to Christ’s divinity united with his humanity.
The term ‘Good’ in Good Friday is contested in various approaches and has remained the matter of debate since the ages. Some say ‘good’ means Holy, while others speculate that this phrase is a modification of ‘God Friday’ but, Undoubtedly, most of the Christian communities perceive this day as ‘GOOD’- as the message of Easter celebration is of Lord Christs’ victory over death, devil and sins.
Christian Devotees perform such sacred services to pay for forgiveness of their sins as well as praising Lord Jesus for saving Humanity. Such Sacred Services on Good Friday are highly recommended to the devotees, because these will make them reflect on themselves and Solemn prayers for Lord Jesus Christs.
Make sure to mark your date for Good Friday – Easter 2019 Celebrations as it will help you to plan ahead of time a kind of church services you will attend or perform on the Holy day.