Why Good Friday is not a feel-good festival after all
Good Friday, which happens to be this Friday, the 14.4.17, is more than just a mere holiday. Some people do not even know why they are getting this holiday. So, here is your tutorial of sorts about the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of this auspicious day.
Firstly, let’s get this straight once and for all – DO NOT wish anybody ‘Happy Good Friday’. It is not a happy occasion neither is it a day that is ‘celebrated’.
So, what is Good Friday?
Good Friday, also known as “Holy Friday, Great Friday or Black Friday” is the Friday immediately preceding Easter Sunday. It is mourned traditionally as the day on which Jesus was crucified and died on the cross.
How is this day spent?
Many Christian churches spend Good Friday with a three hours service in which they spread the message about the agony of Christ during his last few days. Christ’s death is remembered with solemn hymns and prayers of thanksgiving. The day is typically viewed as a solemn one, often observed with fasting and somber processions.
Why is this day special?
The death of Christ on the cross, along with his bodily resurrection is the paramount event of the Christian faith.
So if it is a day of mourning and repentance, then why is it called ‘good’?
This is a frequently asked question and here is the best explanation to all those inquisitive minds.
They call the day of Jesus’ death “Good Friday” instead of “Bad Friday” or something similar probably because good used to mean ‘holy’. There are a few theories about why Good Friday is called so, among which there are two enlisted bellow.
The first of these theories say that Christians believe, there is something good about it. Good Friday symbolizes the suffering and dying of Jesus for their sins. It led to the resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death and sin and the celebration of Easter, the very pinnacle of Christian celebrations. Perhaps this logic has helped the name stick.
Some sources claim “good” to simply mean pious or holy, while others contend that it is a corruption of “God Friday”. The Oxford English Dictionary supports the first etymology, giving “of a day or season observed as holy by the church” as an archaic sense of good.