Good Friday that is also famous by the name of Holy Friday is basically a religious holiday for Christian. The day venerates the death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The day comes on a different date because it depends on the full moon that comes on or after the 21st of match each year. Some of the countries have a public or federal holiday on this date, and in some countries, the routine activities go through. The mass celebration does not take place on this day. Instead, special prayers are held in churches. The Good Friday 2017 is expected to be on 14th of April. This is the second Friday in the month of April.
The celebrations are done in a traditional manner. Most of the Roman Catholics do fast on this day to honor the sacrifices made by Jesus Christ. This is actually a day when Jesus Christ died and according to Bible it there is nowhere written that the day should be celebrated in any way. According to the teachings, all days are made equal. In the churches, there are some special services carried out on this day. People sing hymns, special lectures are delivered, and Lord’s Supper is observed. Along with all these things, there are many activities carried out on this day. In this article, you will know about the events and history of Good Friday.
What Happen in Good Friday?
The day of Jesus Christ Death is named as Good Friday particularly because here good means something that is holy and pious. This is the day that is considered as holy in the churches. So, to honor that some of the activities are carried out on this day. The activities that take place on this day are really wide. Mostly, on this day followed by Easter Sunday, people clean their houses and exhibit mourning. The day is also announced as a holiday in most of the countries or particular states of a country. The countries where it is a holiday include Germany, Singapore, Australia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Brazil and New Zealand. However, in the United States of America, the holiday on Good Friday is observed only in 11 states. On this holiday, the public transport runs on a short schedule.
The day of Fasting for Catholics
Most Catholics consider this day as a day of fasting. In the Latin Churches, people eat one full meal in the whole day. Most of the people who are more faithful do not eat meat on this day as a symbol of respect and gratitude towards the sacrifices of Jesus Christ. Due to this reason in most of the countries, people also know this day by the name of Fish Friday. If the day is not a local holiday, people postpone the services and prayers to the time after 3 PM so that they can participate in them.
Traditions and rituals
A sober ceremony is arranged on this day. There is a famous food that is associated with this day known as Hot cross buns. These are like the normal buns that are made of flour and baked. However, the specialty is that there is the sign of the cross on the surface of the bun and it is also sprinkled with crushed sugar. People try to remain simple and silent on this day as a sign of grief and sorrow. All kinds of glittering and shiny objects are removed from the homes. People clean their homes thoroughly to get away with any kind of dust from the previous year.
Special services are also held in the churches on the afternoon of Good Friday. The people who are sick cannot attend the services, so the anointing of the sick is taken to them. All kinds of crosses, cloths, and candles are removed from the altar during this time period. The holy water is also removed. After the removal, the altar becomes bare. All these things are placed on the altar gradually during the prayers. No kinds of bells are rung in church on Friday and Saturday of this week, and this is a tradition. After that, the services start after three o clock normally. Liturgy is an important part of these services.
Liturgy of the day
In the liturgy, people do not make any noise and illustrate complete silence in the church. There are basically three parts of the liturgy that are normally carried out in churches. These three parts are
- First of all, Liturgy of the Word. This is the practice in which ministers of the church remain completely silence. The grief and mourning are shown in the form of silence. This is also the sign of silence. After people do all the prayers, there is also a private prayer where the faithful come and kneel.
- Then, Adoration of Cross takes place. Cross holds a special importance for Christians. This is the thing on which Crucifixion of Christ took place. So, people adore this cross by paying regards. The altar is cleared, and people come to kiss the wood on the cross. Hymns are sung in a beautiful way. This is the way of showing respect.
- At the end Holy Communion takes place. This is the final stage of the Mass activity. In this stage the Breaking of the Fast also takes place. The normal prayers are also offered to After all the prayers and final stages, wine is offered. After the wine placement in Chalice, people depart from the church with silence. With the departure, the cloth present on the altar is removed. There is only the bare altar that remains with Crucifix as well as some candles on it.
Good Friday agreement
The Good Friday Agreement is also known as Belfast Agreement. This is basically an agreement of the 1990s where a major political change took place in the Peace process of North Ireland. The government system was decentralized in this agreement which resulted in making of multiple institutions in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. There were basically two documents present in this agreement, and both of those agreements were signed on the Good Friday on April 10, 1998. One of the document was a multi-party agreement. This agreement was among the political parties present in the North Ireland. However, the second agreement was among the Irish and British Governments. That is also known as British-Irish Agreement.
Strands of Good Friday Agreement
There were total three strands of this agreement. According to the first Strand, there were specifications regarding the system and status of the government of Northern Ireland working in the United Kingdom. The second strand constitutes of the betterment in the relationships of Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The last Strand focus on the relationships of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. In these strands, the main focus was put on the sovereignty of the states, weapons, policy making and Justice was also discussed. Proper voting took place which resulted in the approval of this agreement.
Good Friday History
It is known among all that Friday is considered as the day of fasting and prayers for most Catholics. This is done in the first century. However, during the fourth century, people started observing that the Friday before Easter Sunday was associated with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. After that in the sixth century, the day was named as “Good Friday, ” and since then it is known to be a day of mourning and sorrow in commemoration of Jesus Crucifixion.
Origin of Good Friday
Actually, the word Good Friday is considered to be originated from two possible sources. One is through the Gallican church that is present in Gaul which is now the modern Germany and France. Here the literal meaning arose to be something holy or good. The other possible origin is by the name of God’s Friday. In this name, the word God is replaced with Good. The God’s Friday is considered to be so holy that its name is not spoken aloud.
History in Biblical documents
There were some of the Temple guards known by the name of Gospels. They were being taught by a disciple of Jesus. Jesus was betrayed, and they ordered that they have to arrest the person they kiss. After the arrest, he was sent in front of a high priest. Jesus faced a testimony of false allegations against him and did not respond anything. Then in charge of blasphemy, Jesus was crucified. It was the day of Friday. On the third day after that, which is Easter Sunday, Jesus became alive from the dead.
Overall, Good Friday is regarded as a holy and pious event in the history of Christianity. People pay regards and offer prayers on this day. It is not necessary to conduct all the services and practices in every church. However, the services are the same as carried out in routine through centuries. The modern ways are being introduced in the modern churches to celebrate Good Friday 2017 because of all the development that has taken place over these years.