Good Friday commemorates the crucification of Jesus Christ and is an important day for Christians. Find out the different ways in which Good Friday is observed by Christians. Good Friday is observed on the Friday which precedes the Easter Sunday. This day is marked as the commemoration of the passion of Christ. In other words it marks the suffering that Lord had to endure for the sake of his followers when he was crucified on the cross. Good Friday is observed as a day of religious piety by Christians across the world.
Good Friday is a day that reminds people of the value of nobility and leading a pious life that is dedicated for the well being of others. It is in essence a sorrowful day as Christ was crucified on this day, but is also a solemn occasion that reminds each one to live a dutiful life and re-endorse the faith on God.
How is Good Friday Observed?
Here are some of the different ways in which Good Friday is observed by Christians:
Attending the Local Church
Every believer makes it a point that he or she attends the church on Good Friday for the Mass. The Roman Catholics pray before the Blessed Sacrament. The prayer for this day is usually believed to be the Holy Rosary. Stations of the Cross are also prepared by the Churches, and they are attended by people.
Passion Plays are Held
These plays are arranged by Catholics and also the other sects of Christianity. People proactively arrange, organise and participate in these Passion Plays, which mark the suffering or passion that Christ underwent during his crucification. These plays are thereby also community events where people invite relatives and friends. The afternoon tea is served with the traditional ‘hot cross buns’. These are plain or toasted sticky fruit buns that have some dough shaped as a cross on the top.
Pious Christians fast on Good Friday
Believers either eat very light or keep a complete fast on this day that marks the crucification of Jesus Christ.
The 3:00 PM Mass
Every church holds the holy Mass at 3:00 PM on Good Friday. If someone is unable to attend this Mass at this time, it is recommended to stop all activity at this hour and pray to the Lord. This is the time that Christians believe that Jesus had died on the Cross on this very day.
Byzantine Christians observe Good Friday by fasting and abstaining from eggs, meat and all sort of dairy products. Matins are held where the twelve Passion Gospels are read out along with the Entombment Vespers.
The Protestant Christians observe Good Friday following all customary traditions that are recommended by the priests.
Christians around the world observe Good Friday with great honour and each one of us should ideally take out time to ponder on the existence of ourselves on this earth and how we can fulfil our responsibility to make this society a better place to live in. As seen in the earlier paragraphs, there can be variations on opinions and rituals followed by different sects of Christians, but the essence of the day remains the same nonetheless. It is a very noble occasion that calls for submission to the divine principle of helping those in need and those who are leading a pious life.