The Good Friday

I was brought up a Catholic and because of that religious background I hold Easter as a very holy day. There are many traditions that different cultures participate in during this particular time of the year. For example, at my house, as I’m sure in many other homes, we do not partake of red meat from the Friday proceeding Easter Sunday. Fish, is the order of the day. Which, really, is an old tradition dating as far back as 1900.

Good Friday is also an important day in the Christian calendar. It comes the day after Maundy Thursday, which commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. Let me give you a little history of this holy day.

Background
There are many theories as to why the day that remembers Jesus’ death on the cross is known as Good Friday. One school of thought is that Good Friday stems from the words “God’s Friday”, while others interpret “good” in the sense of “observed as holy”. Many Orthodox Christians call the day Great Friday. The day is also known as Black Friday or Sorrowful Friday, as well as Long Friday.

The Good Friday date is one of the oldest Christian holidays, with some sources saying that it has been observed since 100 CE. It was associated with fasting during the early years of its observance and was associated with the crucifixion around the fourth century CE. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover

What Do People Do?
Many people in different countries celebrate the anniversary of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death on the Friday before Easter Sunday. This is an observance that involves people fasting and praying. Many church services are held in the afternoon, usually around noon or midday to 3pm, to remember the hours when Jesus hung on the cross. Many churches also observe the day by re-enacting the procession of the cross as in the ritual of the Stations of the Cross, which depicts the final hours of Jesus’ life. Processions are held in many countries such as India, Italy, Malta, the Philippines, and Spain.

Kites that are often handmade are flown in Bermuda on Good Friday to symbolize the cross that Jesus died on, as well as his ascension into heaven. This custom dates back to the 19th century. Churches in countries, such as Belgium and Mexico, are draped in black on Good Friday in memory of Jesus’ suffering on the cross. The day is solemn and a general air of sadness is felt in many towns and villages. Many Christians in Poland fast on dry bread and roasted potatoes. Egg decorating is also part of the Easter preparations in Poland and many other countries. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.

So, whatever traditions you and your loved ones may observe, I hope the core message and memory of it is what, for most believers, it is meant to commemorate and that being the sacrifice the Lord made for you and me. I hope you find meaning in it and above all, I hope it reminds you that your life truly means something.