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Traditions and Customs on Good Friday

It’s a Friday, a day which most of us look forward to. But this Friday is very different from the rest as it holds a special significance, especially to the Christian community.

Today is traditionally celebrated as Good Friday, the day when Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross on the account of the sins committed by the people. It is usually observed during the holy week of the Paschal Triduum, the three holy days for the Christians. All members of the Christian community such as the Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox and reformed are strict observers of the Good Friday.

This is a very important day for the Christians as their beloved Jesus suffered greatly for all the mankind. It is a day of fasting and penance, a tradition which is carried on from 2th century AD. Christians gather together in churches to mourn the death of God’s Son.

The story behind Jesus’ crucifixion-

According to accounts in the Gospel, Jesus was in the radar of the Jews and the romans alike but due to lack of evidence and witnesses, Jesus could not be arrested and punished. One of Jesus’ disciples, Judas betrayed Jesus Christ, which led to his arrest by the roman soldiers. When asked to testify himself, Jesus said nothing. He had predicted this all along and knew all this was the plan of God. The soldiers arrested Jesus and hanged him on the cross, where he was beaten and left to bleed to death. This was the most painful form of death any one could imagine but Jesus Christ suffered to pay for the sins of the mankind. His last words to God were to forgive his sinners for they weren’t aware of whom they were killing.

Why is it called Good Friday?

Many people assume that this day is a day of great celebration for the Christians due to its name. But it is indeed a day of mourning. This day was when Jesus Christ sacrificed himself and paid for the sins committed by the people. But it is called Good Friday as it signifies the end of Evil over Good. Jesus agreed to sacrifice himself to pay for the sins of the mankind.

Other sources reveal that it was originally called God’s Friday but later changed into Good Friday. Other languages refer to this day as holy Friday.

Different Customs and Traditions of Good Friday-

This day of Mourning is celebrated very soberly by the Christians. There are some customs and traditions celebrated on this day-

1) Fasting-

It is a very important tradition of Good Friday. Christians are observes fasting as a sign of mourning and the loss of their beloved Son of God. People take only one meal on this day.

2) Attending the Church service-

Christians should attend the church service of three hours on Good Friday. The church is especially made ready for the service with the pulpit and the alter left bare and no candles lit everywhere. The last seven words spoken by Jesus are included in the service. The three hours Jesus was on cross, from mid noon to 3 pm, is the time which is very sacred to the Christian. This time is spent by reciting hymns and doing meditation.

3) Wearing black-

Black is the colour of mourning and Christians wear black on this day. Everyone from the Priest to the deacons wear black to the service. The cross at the church, pictures and statues are also covered with black to signify mourning.

4) Eating Hot cross buns-

These buns have a special significance for this day as they are covered with a cross on top. Stalls outside churches serve freshly made hot cross buns to people after the service.

5) Read bible and do good deeds-

We should always remember that Jesus was crucified for the sins of the mankind. This should be remembered and taught to the kids too. Doing good deeds on this day will go on to show that his sacrifice was worthy and that humankind is refraining from committing sins.

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