Good Friday commemorates the sacrifice by Jesus by crucifixion 2000 years ago. Good Friday and Easter are two of the holiest days in Christian calendar. While Good Friday condemns the crucifixion of Jesus, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after the crucifixion. These days are observed grandly throughout Christian majority countries.
Good Friday in France (Europe)
Earliest observation of Good Friday leads all the way back to first century, every Friday was marked with fasting and prayer. In the fourth century this observation shifted to Friday before Easter as it is linked with Christ’s crucifixion. The name ‘Good Friday’ was given by Roman Church in the 6th-7th century, before that it was called ‘Holy’ or ‘Great’ Friday.
Good Friday in France is referred to as ‘Vendredi Saint’ (Holy Friday). It is not a public holiday, except in northeastern provinces. It is observed as a holy day by churches in France. The passion of Christ is commemorated according to Gospel. Good Friday is an important day as it commemorates the sacrifice made by Jesus for them. In catholic churches it is treated as a day of fasting, They can only consume one full meal or two snacks and meat is forbidden, Many families eat fish as a tradition of Good Friday and abstain from meat, Due to this Good Friday in France is also named ‘Fish Friday’
Good Friday in France follow the liturgy of three parts, the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion. On this day Catholics follow the stations of Cross also known as Way of Cross.The path is either inside churches or on the slope of a hill outside.
It consists of 14 stages:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus Carries his Cross
- Jess falls the first time
- Jesus meets his mother
- Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls the second time
- Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
- Jesus falls the third
- Jesus is stripped of his garments
- Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
- cross Jesus dies on the cross
- Jesus is taken down from the cross
- Jesus is laid in the tomb.
The a15th stage is added representing the Resurrection of Christ often.
Church bells are not rung on Good Friday in France. Children are told they are on a journey to pilgrimage to Rome and will be back on Easter Sunday with chocolate eggs.