9 things you need to know about Good Friday

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Out of all the auspicious days according to the Christian calendar, Good Friday is considered as the most crucial event in the pages of history. Not only is it the day that marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ but also it paves way for the great day of resurrection, also termed as Easter. It is celebrated in different ways around the world, with people performing various types of liturgical activities, attending masses in the Churches, and even observing fasts and silence throughout the day. Since Good Friday holds a lot of importance in Christianity, this article will focus on nine facts about this event that most people aren’t aware of. 

Why is Good Friday celebrated and what does it symbolize?

Jesus Christ was crucified the next day after the great Last Supper with his 12 disciples. According to the Christian testament, Christ sacrificed himself with the goal of redemption for the sins committed by the humans. Good Friday is celebrated to commemorate this great sacrifice of Christ that he did without any ulterior motive. Now, as far as the name is concerned, the term Good in literal terms has no aptness in the context of the event. However, it is believed that in Latin, the term is synonymous with Holy, and hence Good Friday is often termed as Holy Friday. 

What happened on the first Good Friday?

The very first Good Friday is the day on which Jesus was condemned to the painful death. According to the records in the Gospels, it is relieved that Christ was first taken to Pilate on that morning, after which he was sent to Herod and again back to Pilate. He was beaten and mocked while witnessing the release of the famous prisoner, Barabbas. People crowned him with thorns and ultimately condemned to death. Christ had to carry the burden of his own cross. While being crucified, he smiled and forgave his sinners and even entrusted Virgin Mary to one of his most beloved disciple. Before his death, he told the last seven words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”. 

When is Good Friday celebrated?

Even though Good Friday should be celebrated on the fixed date of April 8, the day after the Last Supper, that is not the case. Christians follow the lunisolar calendar of the Jewish, as per which it is celebrated on any day between the first expected Passover date and the Easter Sunday. This is why Good Friday is often observed somewhere between March 20 and April 23, specifically two days prior to Easter Sunday.

How do people celebrate Good Friday?

People celebrate Good Friday in different ways around the world. However, there are a few practices that have been consistent since the first event. Most Christians meditate for hours, devoting themselves to the Lord. They also visit the Churches to adore the Cross and pay their utter respects. They also intercede for the salvation of the human race and redemption of the sins committed. 

What are the liturgical celebrations of Good Friday?

With years, the liturgical practices for Good Friday have changed a lot. At the present age, a public worship is conducted at the Catholic churches, followed by a reading session of the Gospel Passion, adoration of the cross, and organizing the Communion. Fasting is also observed at several orthodox Christian households while ensuring not to include any form of meat in the seder. In some areas, special vigils and prayers are also organized at the churches. 

How is the holy cross venerated?

Veneration of the Holy Cross is one of the main duties of the faithful Christians. The inviting words of salvation of the human race are announced while unveiling the cross on Good Friday. People attending the event sing a song and maintain a few moments of silence after every cycle of veneration. The celebrant then presents the cross to individual faithful Christian for adoration. 

What transpires after the celebration of Good Friday?

Once the celebrations are over, the altar is stripped of all the elements except the Holy Cross and the four candles illuminating the place. A proper place is prepared within the church where the cross is then kept so that people can venerate and meditate for a couple of hours. 

Are Sacraments celebrated on Good Friday?

As per the ancient traditions, the churches around the world do not celebrate Eucharist on Good Friday. Except the Sacrament of Penance and Anointing of the Sick, no other sacraments are celebrated on this day. Also, if there is any funeral, the event is hosted without any music, singing, or tolling of the bells. 

Why do many people remain solemn on Good Friday?

Several orthodox Christians maintain a somber attitude on Good Friday. According to tales, they do so to express their grief over the pain Christ suffered when he was being crucified on his cross. They do not watch television, visit events organized in lieu of Good Friday, or take part in form of entertainment. Silence prevails in the ambiance as people remain somber throughout the day. 


In this article, we have explained the nine less-known facts about Good Friday, from the true essence of the event to the liturgical practices. This day marks the beginning of a new phase for the Christian community as it is followed by the day of the great resurrection, Easter Sunday. 

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