Good Friday is celebrated in honour and remembrance of Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God, and whose life and teachings are the foundation of Christianity. The day comes after “Maundy Thursday”, which recalls the Last Supper, and before Easter Sunday. The most important events in Christianity are the birth, death and later resurrection of Jesus Christ.
After the last supper, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, put on trial, sentenced to death. He was then tied and nailed by the wrists and feet to a large wooden cross and left to die. This is why the cross is used as a symbol of the Christian faith.
Why Good Friday is celebrated?
Good Friday is a day of mourning. Christians meditate on Jesus’s suffering and death on the cross. The day is observed as a day of penance, grief and fasting. Good Friday also leads to the end of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting for Christians before Easter. This year, Lent is on Saturday, April 3, the day before Easter Sunday. Christians all over the world celebrates the entire holy week which starts from Palm Sunday (29th March this year) and ends on Easter Monday, also called ‘Bright Monday’ or the ‘Renewal Monday’.
Why is the day of “Crucifixion” called “Good Friday”?
It may seem a strange name for a day that marked such a terrible event as a crucifixion, but when we look at the origin of the name it becomes clearer. The earliest known use of ‘Guode Friday’ is found in The South English Legendary, a text from around 1290. Some say, “Good Friday is good because Christ showed his great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing”. The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1907, says the ”origins are not clear”. Some look at it as ”God’s Friday” or ”Gottes Freitag”.
Some sources also say that it comes from the use of “Good”, which is an Old English synonym for “holy.” Others believe it stems from a corruption of the word “God”, while most believe that the day as “good” because the message of Easter is of Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the devil.
Also, it also worth bearing in mind that this confusion over the name is mainly confined to Western European and North American Christians. Eastern Orthodox Christians still call it as “Great and Holy Friday”. Slavoc Peoples call it as “Great Friday”, Germans as “Friday of Mourning”, while people in Norway call it as “Long Friday”.
How is Good Friday celebrated?
Good Friday is celebrated in around the world in several ways, while, what is universal is that they all involve prayers. Some people observe a fast or abstain from eating on this day. Most people gather at church and pray exactly at 3:00 pm as it is said that Jesus died at this time on this day.
Many churches also observe the day by re-enacting the process of the cross in the rituals of stations of the cross, which depicts the final hours of Jesus’ life. However, in Jerusalem, Christians follow in Jesus’ footsteps and walk the very same path leading to the site of the crucifixion. Some also carry the weight on their back to pay tribute to Jesus’s sacrifice.
This year, Good Friday 2021 will be observed on April 2, 2021. Most places have restrictions on mass gatherings; therefore, it is advised to celebrate the grand festival from home with loved ones, family, relatives, and colleagues, and have a great time bonding with them.
There’s a lot to know when it comes to the observance of Christian Holy Week 2021. To know more about the history, meaning, significance, wishes, and greetings download our booklet.
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