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You are here : home > Indian Culture > Indian Festivals and occassions > Why is Good Friday Observed?

Why is Good Friday Observed?

Good Friday is observed on the Friday that comes just before Easter Sunday. All Christians, throughout the world observe this day with simplicity and respect. Read on to learn about how and why Good Friday is actually observed.


Good Friday observed on the Friday just before Easter Sunday. It is observed by Christians all over the world. Traditionally, this day is celebrated by Christians to honour the suffering and death of Jesus while being crucified on the cross.

Traditionally, there is no mass and celebration on Good Friday. Dedicated Christians observe this as a day of fasting. Even the church bells are silent and a solemn atmosphere is preserved till Easter vigil.


Why is Good Friday Referred to As ‘Good’?

Many people are confused and want to know why Good Friday is referred as ‘good’ when this was the day when Jesus Christ was hanged. However, the outcome of the death of Christ was good because he died for the sins of his followers. People believe that god demonstrated his own love for them and died for them when they were still sinners. They believe that God sacrificed to bring people closer to him.


History of Good Friday

The early days of Christianity shows that this day was observed as a day of sorrow and fasting. It was also called Great Friday or Holy Friday. Some believe that Good Friday was first God’s Friday and became ‘good’ because ‘God’ was often too sacred to be spoken. Even though Good Friday is the most solemn and most sorrowful day of the year, it is one of the holiest days in the whole year for Christians.


Church Rituals on Good Friday

The church rituals start between midnight and 3 a.m. Priests and other devotees recite special prayers. In the morning, the priest re-counts teachings from scriptures. Henceforth there is a succession of prayers in which they ask forgiveness on all mankind and mercy from God. In some places the rituals start from noon and last for 3 hours observing the time when Christ was crucified. However, for most Christians the day is filled with sorrow mixed with joy.


Good Friday Traditions

The rituals and traditions followed on Good Friday are different from other traditions followed by the Christians. The ceremony is sombre adding to Good Friday’s significance and the priests as well as deacons get dressed in black vestments. No candles are lit and the pulpit and altar are left bare. Some churches do hold special services in the evening to commemorate the day, nowadays.


Traditions Followed by Communities

Some Christian communities organize for passion plays where you can participate or attend. Dedicated people observe fast the whole day and meditate at 3 p.m. because it is believed that Christ died at this hour. They try to remain solemn the whole day.

For Christians Good Friday brings both, joy and sorrow. They grieve for the sin of mankind and rejoice feeling the gift of giving that Lord’s love for his only child shows. Different churches and different communities differ at one point or another when following the rituals and traditions.

Most schools remain closed on Good Friday. Children wait for the hot cross buns which are sweet rolls with a sign of cross on them. They are one of the different traditions followed by Christians. These Friday buns are popular till date and children recite what the vendors used to cry while selling them once.

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns!

One a-penny, two a-penny, hot cross buns!

If you have no daughters, give ‘em to your sons!

One a-penny, two a-penny, hot cross buns!


Why is Good Friday observed as a day of mourning? What is the significance of Good Friday? What kinds of rituals are followed on the day of Good Friday? Discuss here.

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