Good Friday is a very important festival for the Christians which is celebrated to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Good Friday usually falls between March 20th and April 23rd. Initially it was called God’s Friday remembering Christ’s sufferings and death on the cross.
Earlier, only Easter Sunday was celebrated as a holy day by the Christmas Church. By the fourth century, the days preceding Easter were established as holy days including Good Friday. It is believed that ‘Good’ stands for the gift of salvation brought forth by the martyrdom.
The celebrations include the observance of prayer and meditation at the Stations of the Cross, a succession of 14 images, usually on wooden crosses, which depicts Christ’s crucifixion and the events leading to it. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, it is known as the ‘Great Friday’.
In the beginning this day was observed as a day of simple fasting not associated with Jesus death. It was only from the late fourth century that it has been associated with crucifixion.
A particular section of the Christians views Christ crucifixion as a voluntary act in which death itself was conquered by resurrection. On this day the Christians meet and pray several times.
Besides, the readings from the Scripture held in congregation are also part of the celebration.
In some congregations the role of the Jesus is also enacted in a ritual called the Stations of the Cross. Thus, Good Friday is observed as a day of fasting, mourning, sorrow and prayer.