Good Friday–What does it really mean?
Good Friday is a holiday in the Christian faith. Catholics commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday. The day is typically viewed as a solemn one, during which Catholics observe fasting and undertake somber public processions. The Government of India has declared the day as a public holiday for a few decades now.
- Members of the Catholic faith observes Good Friday with silent prayers, meditation, and with prayer vigils in churches. The Bible commands the faithful to take the day off work and reflect on the martyrdom of Jesus Christ. On this day, Catholic priests and church leaders lead the faithful in prayers. The clergy instructs the Catholic faith to refrain from any form of celebrations and entertainment on Good Friday. In certain countries, Good Friday is also known as God’s Friday.
- 12 states in the USA observe Good Friday as a state holiday. These include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, and Tennessee. In medieval European tradition, Christians were required to abstain from eating meat and eggs on Good Friday. They were also required to boil eggs laid by chicken on the day of Good Friday. These eggs were gifted to children and were meant to signify the resurrection of the Lord Savior Jesus Christ.
- Good Friday is instructional for young citizens about the importance of human virtues such as forbearance and forgiveness. The parents and guardians of young children can use the opportunity to narrate stories from the life of Jesus Christ. This instruction can help the young children to become model citizens that can perform the duties expected of them. People from other faiths can also learn about Jesus Christ and the tenets of Christianity.
- ‘Tre Ore’ is one of the rituals associated with Good Friday. This three-hour service starts at noon and ends at 3 PM. The ritual focuses on the final hours of Jesus Christ. The priests in churches embellish these rituals with readings from the Bible, religious songs, and short orations to celebrate the life of Jesus Christ. The practicing Catholics attend church services to participate in this ritual and strengthen their belief in the words of the Lord Savior.
- Good Friday rituals include re-enactments of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Members of the faith volunteer to be physically restrained to wooden structures to show their faith in the tenets of Christianity. Catholics in many parts of the world participate in these public acts, which draw tens of thousands of spectators and tourists. However, the Catholic Church condemns such practices because it views these acts as a distortion of the true meaning of Good Friday.
- According to modern research, the exact date of Good Friday was Friday, 3 April AD 33. Scientists from the University of Oxford used astronomical calculations to reconstruct the date from the Jewish calendar according to which a lunar eclipse followed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.