Good Friday — 15th April, 2022
What is Good Friday?
Good Friday is the Friday that falls before Easter Sunday every year celebrated by Christian communities around the globe. The day is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Holy and Great Friday. Although the sole event of this commemoration happens to be Easter, it is observed with full zest among most Christians.
Christians from different denominations, including Catholics, orthodox, reformed traditions, etc., celebrate this day by fasting and attending prayer meetings at the church. The day also marks the end of the lent season. The day is also marked as the day when Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of humanity.
Why is Good Friday Named So?
Whenever someone comes to know the name of this occasion, the first thing hitting their minds is a “happy day celebration.” But, when Good Friday got its name, the linguistic experts called good a synonym for “holy.” Whereas other experts believed it was “the God’s Friday” originally. The name is entirely appropriate as the terrible suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross meant the fulfillment of God’s word as well as the completion of his plan to save humankind from the anger of God. Many believe that the name “Good Friday” is given to the day as the sins of humanity were lifted, and the anger and wrath of God were transferred over Jesus Christ in order to open the gates of forgiveness and salvation for all nations.
When is Good Friday 2022?
If you’re a keen enthusiast of celebrating days with historical value, you might be hunting for the exact date of the occasion.
Stop wandering around to find when Good Friday is happening, and mark your calendar for April 15 (Friday) for Good Friday and April 17 (Sunday) for Easter!
Make your plans and have a wonderful Good Friday this year.
What is the Theme of Good Friday 2022?
The essence of the occasion is celebrating the victory of truth and virtue against vice and iniquity. In the blessed memory of Jesus’s suffering and his crucifixion, this day is observed to pay homage and fast for his greatness.
Also, the theme of Good Friday 2022 is celebrating victory of virtue accompanied by religious rituals.
The best part of this occasion is that it is followed by the celebration of Jesus’s eternal rise soon after the crucifixion.
History of Good Friday
Good Friday dates back to the time when Jesus was assassinated to call himself God’s son. He was called for crucifixion by the Roman court of the time in Jerusalem.
Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane after fasting for 40 days; he was taken for many trials. In the end, he was taken to the highest chief priest, Pontius Pilate, and Herod. Pilate wanted to compromise with the religious leaders by having Christ beaten up, but the religious leaders didn’t agree to it, and so Jesus was handed over for getting crucified.
Jesus Christ was mocked by the soldiers and was dressed in a robe with a thorn crown over his head that said: “Jesus, the king of Nazareth.” After getting mocked and beaten up, Jesus was forced to carry his cross to Golgotha, his death place. Jesus was crucified with two criminals.
Later on, after the death of Jesus Christ, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pontius Pilate for the body. He then wrapped the body of Christ in white cloth, placed it in his new tomb, and covered the entrance of the tomb with a huge rock.
Since then, Good Friday has been observed as a solemn day to commemorate the unjust crucifixion of Jesus by the cruel Roman empire. Good Friday also pays homage to the holy cross that Jesus carried throughout and was hung with till death.
What to Do on Good Friday? | Good Friday Activities
Centuries ago, Christians used to observe the sacred pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the solemn memory of Jesus’s crucifixion. However, the activities observed for Good Friday have greatly evolved with time.
Christians living globally observe fast, visit their nearest churches, offer sermons, read bible, and meditate. Every community has its specific activities and rituals of bowing to this holy day.
Generally, most Christian communities visit Churches during the hours when the crucifixion took place, midday or noon. But some other practices or activities done on Good Friday are as following;
Re-enchanting the Resurrection Series
In countries like Spain, the Philippines, Italy, and France, Good Friday is practised while re-enacting the series of events that took place during Jesus’ resurrection. Churches prepare special props and sculptures to predict the sorrow of the day.
Veneration of Cross
Many countries hold veneration of the Cross, which means bowing down and kneeling in front of the Cross to reform or affirm the faith. While in Jerusalem, many individuals walked carrying the same amount of weight Jesus did by carrying his Cross and going to the site where Jesus was crucified.
The Pope in the Vatican city, outside the Colosseum, recites the Cross for all the Catholics from around the world. People hold their candles high as the massive Cross with lights burns high in the sky.
Similarly, kite flying activities in Bermuda are also observed on the occasion to devote respect and faith in Jesus’ ascension to heaven. Belgium and Mexico have their rituals, covering the churches in all black.
Nevertheless, the day has its vibe of sadness with religious activities observed globally. Poland is no different in this regard, as people fast the day with potatoes and dry bread only.
How to Celebrate Good Friday?
Good Friday is the oldest religious occasion sacred to Christians. The soul of the event lies in sacrificing for virtue and steadfastness against vice. Hence, the day is celebrated as a sorrowful tribute to the holy Jesus’s crucifixion while fasting, praying, lighting candles, and conveying happiness.
Churches from Catholic ethnicities make their bells quiet and strip off their altars. Since Good Friday is followed by the annual occasion of happiness and togetherness, Easter, people start preparing for that also. Similarly, orthodox, Anglican, and Roman Catholics each have their way of performing Good Friday rites.
Here are some ways you can celebrate Good Friday as a faithful Christian;
- Fast, go to church, read the Bible, and offer your prayers.
- Spend the day in remembrance of the sacrifice made by Christ.
- Some Christian communities organize passion plays. You can participate, help organize or simply go and watch those plays.
- Attend Matins by reading the entombment vespers and 12 Passions of the Gospel.
- As it is believed that Jesus Christ died at 3 pm, you should leave all your work at that time and pray for forgiveness and remember his sacrifice at that time.
- Interesting Facts About Good Friday
- Jesus was exposed before the chief priests or judges by one of his 12 companions, Judas. Judas betrayed Jesus by kissing before the crowd.
- Saint John of Apostle was the one disciple of Jesus who didn’t leave him during his death.
- Churches around the world ring the bell 33 times in the remembrance of the 33 years Christ spent on Earth.
- Jesus was beaten before his cruel assassination.
- In the 18th and 19th centuries, the crucifixion was portrayed as a series in the form of a drama. Iconic sculptures and monuments were drawn to achieve a reality like assassination procession.
- Apostle Peter, a disciple of Christ, denied Jesus three times when he was accused of being seen with Jesus.
- Good Friday prayer service has three parts: the Liturgy of Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and the Holy Communion.
- Catholics are not supposed to consume any kind of meat on Good Friday.
- Roman Catholics observe the Triduum, which lasts for three days, while the middle one is dedicated to Jesus’s Crucifixion or Good Friday.
- It is also a part of Good Friday rituals to cover the entire monumental pieces, sculptures, and paintings with black clothing.
- Good Friday is believed to have been celebrated since 100 CE.
Good Friday Traditions
Good Friday is an important day for Christian as Jesus Christ died on this day and took away the sins of mankind. The day is celebrated to recall all the sacrifices of Jesus Christ and to remember the promised miracle that he would rise again on the third day.
The most commonly observed traditions are fasting, eating simple and refraining from delicacies, covering religious monuments in black, following mourning and sorrow in different ways, etc.
Some traditions followed on Good Friday includes;
Washing and cutting your hair on Good Friday is considered as a good act and it is believed to make the hair stronger, longer, and saves one from headaches.
Take your shoes off and put them away with your socks for the summer season.
On the other hand, it is prohibited to shave on the occasion of Good Friday.
Cure for verrucas and corn
One of the traditions followed by individuals includes washing feet with clean water and then saving the water for curing verrucas and corn.
You can dig any corner of your garden and plant some plants like seed potatoes, oats, cabbage, and turnips. One can also plant some garlic and use it as a cure for winter cough.
Marking the Egg
People in different parts of the world, buy black hens and wait for them to lay their first egg on Good Friday. The egg is then using a burnt stick marked with an X. Later the egg is boiled on Easter and eaten with the family.
Kissing Christ’s wounds
Individuals go to Chapel on Good Friday barefoot and queue up with their hair down to kiss the five wounds of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
Go to Shore
Many people go to shore and collect seaweed and limpets to create a black-fast collation which is consumed at 3 pm.
Good Friday Quotes
- It is the resurrection that makes Good Friday good. (Ravi Zacharias).
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3: 16-17)
- And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. ( Mark 8:31)
- Exalt the Cross! God has hung the destiny of the race upon it. Other things we may do in the realm of ethics and on the lines of philanthropic reforms, but our main duty converges into setting that one glorious beacon of salvation, Calvary’s Cross, before the gaze of every immortal soul. (Theodore Ledyard Cuyler)
- He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. ( 1 Peter 2:24)
- What is good about Good Friday? Why isn’t it called Bad Friday? Because out of the appallingly bad came what was inexpressibly good. And the good trumps the bad because though the bad was temporary, the good is eternal. (Randy Alcorn)
- Practice mercy and forgiveness throughout as a lesson that symbolises the love shown through his crucifixion. (Unarine Ramaru)
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are banks open on Good Friday?
Major banks are closed on Good Friday. However, you can always check out their availability online.
Is the stock market open on Good Friday?
Stock market and stock indexes were closed on Good Friday, 2021. The same will be observed this year too.
Is Good Friday a federal holiday?
Good Friday is a federal holiday in most countries, whereas the USA isn’t one of them. However, there is a public holiday on Good Friday in the USA.
Does the mail run on Good Friday?
The post office will be open on Good Friday across the USA.
What are the things to avoid on Good Friday?
There aren’t any defined criteria for this; you can avoid actions as per your beliefs. However, certain superstitions ask not to drink anything that has vinegar, no house chores, no meat-eating, no clothes washing, etc.
Why is Good Friday called a Good Friday when it is the day of Jesus’s crucifixion?
It is called Good Friday because it led to the victory of virtue over vice. It made Jesus’s rise eternal. Hence, good is used as a synonym for Holy in the term “Good Friday.”
Hence, Good Friday reminds us that virtue is immortal and vice or iniquity has to forseek defeat always. It also reminds us of the eternal sacrifice that was made by Jesus Christ and how with all his purity, he became the perfect sacrifice for our impurities. Good Friday may have different rituals to practice, but one thing stays in common that is being sorrowful for the heinous crucifixion of Jesus and the celebration of faith in him.
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