Good Friday is a solemn day commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. Christians around the world observe this day with great humility and reverence. Observed on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, people honour and remember the passion and suffering through which Jesus went through. Also known as Great Friday, Holy Friday or Black Friday, many Christians spend the day fasting and is a day of mourning. This year the festival will be observed on April 14.
According to the Gospels, one of his disciples called Judas Iscariot had guided the temple guards to arrest Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Conflicting testimony against Christ was brought forward by many witnesses, to which Jesus answered nothing. Finally, the high priest said, “I adjure you, by the Living God, to tell us, are you the Anointed One, the Son of God?” Jesus answered ambiguously and said, “You have said it, and in time you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty, coming on the clouds of Heaven.” Irked by his response, the head priest condemned Jesus for blasphemy, and his sentence of death was announced.
Thus, it is said that Christ willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for ‘our’ sins. However, after three days, on Easter, Jesus was raised from the dead. This is regarded as his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith.
On this day, people visit churches and observe Good Friday. With a subdued service at the church, Christ’s death is remembered with solemn hymns, prayers of thanksgiving. The ceremony is sombre and priests and deacons wear black vestments on this day. The altar and the pulpit are bare and it must be noted no candles are lit.
Church commemorates Christ’s arrest, the trial, crucifixion, his suffering, death, and burial. Since services on this day are to observe Jesus’ death, the Divine Liturgy (the sacrifice of bread and wine) is never celebrated on Great Friday. In addition, all pictures, statues, and the cross in churches are covered in mourning black.
For Christians, the day is crucial as ever since Jesus Christ died and was raised, they believe that the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Thus the day is of supreme importance to the people following the faith.
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