Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. It is the most solemn day in the Christian calendar. The dates of Good Friday, which vary each year, occur between March 20th and April 23rd. It falls on the last Friday before Easter. It is the pinnacle of the Holy Week. All Christians observe this day with great humility and reverence. It is this spirit of humility and reverence that is reflected in each Good Friday.
History of Good Friday
As early as the first century, the Church set aside every Friday as a special day of prayer and fasting. It was not until the fourth century, however, that the Church began observing the Friday before Easter as the day associated with the crucifixion of Christ. First called Holy or Great Friday by the Greek Church, the name “Good Friday” was adopted by the Roman Church around the sixth or seventh century. Good Friday reflect the types of traditions associated with the history of Good Friday.
Good Friday Origins
There are two possible origins for the name “Good Friday”. The first may have come from the Gallican Church in Gaul (modern-day France and Germany). The name “Gute Freitag” is Germanic in origin and literally means “good” or “holy” Friday. The second possibility is a variation on the name “God’s Friday,” where the word “good” was used to replace the word “God,” which was often viewed as too holy to be spoken aloud.
Good Friday Traditions
Good Friday rituals and traditions are distinct from every other Church observances. They add to Good Friday’s significance. The ceremony is somber, with priests and deacons dressing in black vestments. The pulpit and the altar are bare; no candles are lit. (No bell ringing) The purpose behind the solemn presentation is to create an awareness of grief over the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son. Today, many churches hold special services on Good Friday evening to commemorate this important day.
Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order