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Good Friday - [Western] Christian.

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Time: 
Fri, 30/03/2018 (All day)
Location: 
EVERYWHERE.

 Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.  It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover.  It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, [1] [2] [3] or Easter Friday, [4] [5] though the last term properly refers to the Friday in Easter week. 

The date of the holiday on the Gregorian calendar varies from one year to the next, and there is disagreement about its calculation.  It is a widely instituted legal holiday in many national governments around the world, including in most Western countries (especially among Anglican and Catholic nations) as well as in 12 U.S.  states. [6] Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day. [7] [8] 

Etymology [edit] 

The etymology of the term “good”in the context of Good Friday is contested.  Some sources claim “good”to simply mean pious or holy, [9] 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 (good, adj.  8c), and providing examples of good tide meaning “Christmas”or “Shrove Tuesday”, and Good Wednesday meaning the Wednesday in Holy Week. [10] 

In German-speaking countries, Good Friday is generally referred to as Karfreitag (Kar from Old High German kara‚ “bewail”, “grieve”‚ “mourn”, Freitag for “Friday”): Mourning Friday.  The Kar prefix is an ancestor of the English word “care”in the sense of cares and woes; it meant mourning.  The day is also known as Stiller Freitag (“Silent Friday”) and Hoher Freitag (“High Friday, Holy Friday”). 

According to the accounts in the Gospels, the Temple Guards, guided by Jesus’ disciple Judas Iscariot, arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Judas received money (30 pieces of silver) (Matthew 26:14–16) for betraying Jesus and told the guards that whomever he kisses is the one they are to arrest.  Following his arrest, Jesus was taken to the house of Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest, Caiaphas.  There he was interrogated with little result and sent bound to Caiaphas the high priest where the Sanhedrin had assembled (John 18:1–24). 

Conflicting testimony against Jesus was brought forth by many witnesses, to which Jesus answered nothing.  Finally the high priest adjured Jesus to respond under solemn oath, saying “I adjure you, by the Living God, to tell us, are you the Anointed One, the Son of God?”Jesus testified ambiguously, “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.”The high priest condemned Jesus for blasphemy, and the Sanhedrin concurred with a sentence of death (Matthew 26:57–66).  Peter, waiting in the courtyard, also denied Jesus three times to bystanders while the interrogations were proceeding just as Jesus had predicted. 

In the morning, the whole assembly brought Jesus to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate under charges of subverting the nation, opposing taxes to Caesar, and making himself a king (Luke 23:1–2).  Pilate authorized the Jewish leaders to judge Jesus according to their own law and execute sentencing; however, the Jewish leaders replied that they were not allowed by the Romans to carry out a sentence of death (John 18:31). 

Pilate questioned Jesus and told the assembly that there was no basis for sentencing.  Upon learning that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate referred the case to the ruler of Galilee, King Herod, who was in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast.  Herod questioned Jesus but received no answer; Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate.  Pilate told the assembly that neither he nor Herod found guilt in Jesus; Pilate resolved to have Jesus whipped and released (Luke 23:3–16).  Under the guidance of the chief priests, the crowd asked for Barabbas, who had been imprisoned for committing murder during an insurrection.  Pilate asked what they would have him do with Jesus, and they demanded, “Crucify him”(Mark 15:6–14).  Pilate’s wife had seen Jesus in a dream earlier that day, and she forewarned Pilate to “have nothing to do with this righteous man”(Matthew 27:19).  Pilate had Jesus flogged and then brought him out to the crowd to release him.  The chief priests informed Pilate of a new charge, demanding Jesus be sentenced to death “because he claimed to be God’s son.”This possibility filled Pilate with fear, and he brought Jesus back inside the palace and demanded to know from where he came (John 19:1–9). 

 

Antonio Ciseri’s depiction of Ecce Homo with Jesus and Pontius Pilate, 19th century 

Coming before the crowd one last time, Pilate declared Jesus innocent and washed his own hands in water to show he has no part in this condemnation.  Nevertheless, Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified in order to forestall a riot (Matthew 27:24–26) and ultimately to keep his job.  The sentence written was “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”Jesus carried his cross to the site of execution (assisted by Simon of Cyrene), called the “place of the Skull”, or “Golgotha”in Hebrew and in Latin “Calvary”.  There he was crucified along with two criminals (John 19:17–22). 

Jesus agonized on the cross for six hours.  During his last three hours on the cross, from noon to 3 pm, darkness fell over the whole land. [11] Jesus spoke from the cross, saying “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [

With a loud cry, Jesus gave up his spirit.  There was an earthquake, tombs broke open, and the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom.  This tear, according to Christian tradition, signified a removal of restriction of the common Jews from the Temple’s “Holiest of Holies”, and that God’s people now could, themselves, communicate directly with their advocate before God, Jesus the Christ, rather than needing the Temple’s High Priest as an intercessor. [citation needed] The centurion on guard at the site of crucifixion declared, “Truly this was God’s Son!”(Matthew 27:45–54) 

Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin and secret follower of Jesus, who had not consented to his condemnation, went to Pilate to request the body of Jesus (Luke 23:50–52).  Another secret follower of Jesus and member of the Sanhedrin named Nicodemus brought about a hundred-pound weight mixture of spices and helped wrap the body of Jesus (John 19:39–40).  Pilate asked confirmation from the centurion of whether Jesus was dead (Mark 15:44).  A soldier pierced the side of Jesus with a lance causing blood and water to flow out (John 19:34), and the centurion informed Pilate that Jesus was dead (Mark 15:45). 

Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body, wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and placed it in his own new tomb that had been carved in the rock (Matthew 27:59–60) in a garden near the site of crucifixion.  Nicodemus (John 3:1) also brought 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes, and placed them in the linen with the body, in keeping with Jewish burial customs (John 19:39–40).  They rolled a large rock over the entrance of the tomb (Matthew 27:60).  Then they returned home and rested, because Shabbat had begun at sunset (Luke 23:54–56).  Matt.  28:1 “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb”.  i.e.  “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week,.......”.  “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said..........”.(Matt.  28:6) On the third day, which is now known as Easter Sunday (or Pascha), Jesus rose from the dead. 

In the Roman Catholic Church [edit] 

The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat.  This is why many places have the typical ‘Fish Friday’.  In countries where Good Friday is not a day of rest from work, the afternoon liturgical service is usually put off until a few hours after the recommended time of 3 pm. 

Services on the day [edit] 

The Roman Rite has no celebration of Mass between the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening and the Easter Vigil unless a special exemption is granted for rare solemn or grave occasions by the Vatican or the local bishop. 

The only sacraments celebrated during this time are Baptism (for those in danger of death), Penance, and Anointing of the Sick. [16] 

While there is no celebration of the Eucharist, it is distributed to the faithful only in the Service of the Passion of the Lord, but can also be taken at any hour to the sick who are unable to attend this service. [17] 

During this period crosses, candlesticks, and altar cloths are removed from the altar which remains completely bare, though these things are gradually added to the altar as part of the ceremony. [18] It is also customary to empty the holy water fonts in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. [19] Traditionally, no bells are rung on Good Friday or Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil. 

The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord takes place in the afternoon, ideally at three o’clock, but for pastoral reasons a later hour may be chosen. [20] The vestments used are red (more commonly) or black (more traditionally). [21] Before 1970, vestments were black except for the Communion part of the rite when violet was used. [22] Before 1955 black was used throughout. [23] If a bishop or abbot celebrates, he wears a plain mitre (mitra simplex). [24] 

Liturgy [edit] 

The Good Friday liturgy consists of three parts: the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion. 

The Liturgy of the Word consists of the clergy and assisting ministers entering in complete silence, without any singing.  They then silently make a full prostration, “ [signifying] both the abasement of ‘earthly man,’ [25] and also the grief and sorrow of the Church.” [26] 

Then follows the Collect prayer, and the reading or chanting of Isaiah 52:13–53:12, Hebrews 4:14–16, 5:7–9, and the Passion account from the Gospel of John, traditionally divided between three deacons, [27] yet usually divided between the celebrant, one or two singers or readers, and the congregation which speaks the part of the “crowd”. 

This part of the liturgy concludes with the orationes sollemnes, a series of prayers for the Church, the Pope, the clergy and laity of the Church, those preparing for baptism, the unity of Christians, the Jewish people, those who do not believe in Christ, those who do not believe in God, those in public office, those in special need. [28] After each prayer intention, the deacon calls the faithful to kneel for a short period of private prayer; the celebrant then sums up the prayer intention with a Collect-style prayer. 

The Adoration of the Cross has a crucifix, not necessarily the one that is normally on or near the altar at other times of the year, solemnly unveiled and displayed to the congregation, and then venerated by them, individually if possible and usually by kissing the wood of the cross, while hymns and the Improperia (“Reproaches”) with the Trisagion hymn are chanted. [29] 

Holy Communion is done according to a rite based on that of the final part of Mass, beginning with the Our Father, but omitting the ceremony of “Breaking of the Bread”and its related chant, the “Agnus Dei”. 

The Eucharist, consecrated at the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday is distributed at this service. [30] Before the reform of Pope Pius XII, only the priest received Communion in the framework of what was called the “Mass of the Presanctified”, which included the usual Offertory prayers, with the placing of wine in the chalice, but which omitted the Canon of the Mass. [23] 

The priest and people then depart in silence, and the altar cloth is removed, leaving the altar bare except for the crucifix and two or four candlesticks. [31] 

Stations of the Cross [edit] 

In addition to the prescribed liturgical service, the Stations of the Cross are often prayed either in the church or outside, and a prayer service may be held from midday to 3.00 pm, known as the Three Hours’ Agony.  In countries such as Malta, Italy, Philippines, Puerto Rico and Spain, processions with statues representing the Passion of Christ are held. 

In Rome, since the papacy of Saint John Paul II, the heights of the Temple of Venus and Roma and their position opposite the main entrance to the Colosseum have been used to good effect as a public address platform.  This may be seen in the photograph below where a red canopy has been erected to shelter the Pope as well as an illuminated cross, on the occasion of the Way of the Cross ceremony.  The Pope, either personally or through a representative, leads the faithful through meditations on the stations of the cross while a cross is carried from there to the Colosseum. 

In Polish churches, a tableau of Christ’s Tomb is unveiled in the sanctuary.  Many of the faithful spend long hours into the night grieving at the Tomb, where it is customary to kiss the wounds on the Lord’s body.  A life-size figure of Jesus lying in his tomb is widely visited by the faithful, especially on Holy Saturday.  The tableaux may include flowers, candles, figures of angels standing watch, and the three crosses atop Mt Calvary, and much more.  Each parish strives to come up with the most artistically and religiously evocative arrangement in which the Blessed Sacrament, draped in a filmy veil, is prominently displayed. 

Main article: Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ 

The Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as acts of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus suffered during his Passion on Good Friday.  These Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins against Jesus.  Some such prayers are provided in the Raccolta Catholic prayer book (approved by a Decree of 1854, and published by the Holy See in 1898) which also includes prayers as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary. [32] [33] [34] [35] 

In his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor on reparations, Pope Pius XI called Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ a duty for Catholics and referred to them as “some sort of compensation to be rendered for the injury”with respect to the sufferings of Jesus. [36] 

Pope John Paul II referred to Acts of Reparation as the “unceasing effort to stand beside the endless crosses on which the Son of God continues to be crucified”. [37] 

Anglican Communion [edit] 

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer did not specify a particular rite to be observed on Good Friday but local custom came to mandate an assortment of services, including the Seven Last Words from the Cross and a three-hour service consisting of Matins, Ante-communion (using the Reserved Sacrament in high church parishes) and Evensong.  In recent times revised editions of the Prayer Book and Common Worship have re-introduced pre-Reformation forms of observance of Good Friday corresponding to those in today’s Roman Catholic Church, with special nods to the rites that had been observed in the Church of England prior to the Henrican, Edwardian and Elizabethan reforms, including Creeping to the Cross. 

Lutheran Church [edit] 

In Lutheran tradition from the 16th to the 20th century, Good Friday was the most important religious holiday, and abstention from all worldly works was expected.  During that time, Lutheranism had no restrictions on the celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday; on the contrary, it was a prime day on which to receive the Eucharist, and services were often accentuated by special music such as the St Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. 

More recently, Lutheran liturgical practice has recaptured Good Friday as part of the larger sweep of the great Three Days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter.  The Three Days remain one liturgy which celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus.  As part of the liturgy of the Three Days, Lutherans generally fast from the Eucharist on Good Friday.  Rather, it is celebrated in remembrance of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday and at the Vigil of Easter.  One practice among Lutheran churches is to celebrate a tenebrae service on Good Friday, typically conducted in candlelight and consisting of a collection of passion accounts from the four gospels. 

While being called “Tenebrae”it holds little resemblance to the now-suppressed Catholic monastic rite of the same name. [38] 

The Good Friday liturgy appointed in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the worship book of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, specifies a liturgy similar to the revised Roman Catholic liturgy.  A rite for adoration of the crucified Christ includes the optional singing of the Solemn Reproaches in an updated and revised translation which eliminates some of the anti-Jewish overtones in previous versions. 

Influenced by the ecumenical liturgical renewal movement and in an attempt to recover patterns of worship from the early church, many Lutheran congregations are moving away from long preaching services centered on a dramatic and sentimentalized remembrance of the “Seven Last Words,”sayings of Jesus assembled from the four gospels, toward a more devotional practice that places an emphasis on the triumph of the cross, and a singular biblical account of the Passion narrative from the Gospel of John. 

Other Protestant traditions [edit] 

Many other Protestant communities hold special services on this day as well.  Moravians hold a Lovefeast on Good Friday as they receive Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday.  The Methodist Church commemorates Good Friday with a service of worship, often based on the Seven Last Words from the Cross. [39] [40] It is not uncommon for some communities to hold interdenominational services on Good Friday. 

Some Baptist, [41] Pentecostal, many Sabbatarian [42] and non-denominational churches oppose the observance of Good Friday, regarding it as a papist tradition, and instead observe the Crucifixion on Wednesday to coincide with the Jewish sacrifice of the Passover Lamb (which Christians believe is an Old Testament pointer to Jesus Christ).  A Wednesday Crucifixion of Jesus allows for him to be in the tomb (“heart of the earth”) for three days and three nights as he told the Pharisees he would be (Matthew 12:40), rather than two nights and a day if he had died on a Friday. [43] [44] Preparation Day (14 Nisan on the Hebrew calendar) – which is the day before Passover (15 Nisan), instead of the Friday morning found in the Synoptic Gospels. 

Associated customs [edit] 

In many countries with a strong Christian tradition such as Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, the countries of the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, [45] [46] [47] Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela, the day is observed as a public or federal holiday.  In the United States, 12 states observe Good Friday as state holiday: Connecticut, Texas, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina and North Dakota.  Germany and some other countries have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day. [7] [8] 

Australia [edit] 

Good Friday is a holiday under state and territory laws in all states and territories in Australia. [48] Generally speaking, shops in all Australian states (but not in the two territories of Northern Territory and the ACT) are required to remain closed for the duration of Good Friday, although there are certain shops which are permitted to open and other shops can apply for exemptions.  All schools and universities close on Good Friday in Australia, and Good Friday falls within the school holidays in most years in all states and territories except the Northern Territory, although many states now commence their school holidays in early April regardless of Easter.  In 2016, for example, when Good Friday falls on March 25, only Queensland and Victoria have school holidays which coincide with Good Friday.  The vast majority of businesses are closed on Good Friday, although many recreational businesses, such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show, open on Good Friday as among non-religious families Good Friday is a popular day to indulge in such activities. 

Canada [edit] 

In Canada, Good Friday is a federal statutory holiday.  In the province of Quebec “employers can choose to give the day off either on Good Friday or Easter Monday.” [49] 

Cuba [edit] 

In an online article posted on Catholic News Agency by Alejandro Bermúdez on 31 March 2012, Cuban President Raúl Castro, with the Communist Party and his advisers, decreed that Good Friday that year would be a holiday.  This was Castro’s response to a request made personally to him by Pope Benedict XVI during the latter’s Apostolic Visitation to the island and León, Mexico that month.  The move followed the pattern of small advances in Cuba’s relations with the Vatican, mirroring Pope John Paul II’s success in getting Fidel Castro to declare Christmas Day a holiday. [50] Both Good Friday and Christmas are now annual holidays in Cuba. 

Ireland [edit] 

In the Republic of Ireland, Good Friday is not an official public holiday, but most non-retail businesses close for the day.  As a predominantly observant Catholic country, religious ceremonies are well attended.  It is illegal to sell alcoholic beverages on Good Friday, with some exceptions, so pubs and off-licences generally close. [51] Critics of the ban include the catering and tourism sector, but public surveys indicate substantial support. [52] In Northern Ireland, a similar ban operates until 5pm on Good Friday. [53] 

Malaysia [edit] 

Although Malaysia is a Muslim majority country, Good Friday is declared as a public holiday in the states of Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia as there is a significant number of Christian indigenous population in both states. [54] 

Malta [edit] 

The Holy Week commemorations reach their peak on Good Friday as the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the passion of Jesus.  Solemn celebrations take place in all churches together with processions in different villages around Malta and Gozo.  During the celebration, the narrative of the passion is read in some localities, while the Adoration of the Cross follows.  Good Friday processions take place in Birgu, Bormla, Għaxaq, Luqa, Mosta, Naxxar, Paola, Qormi, Rabat, Senglea, Valletta, Żebbuġ (Città Rohan) and Żejtun.  Processions in Gozo will be in Nadur, Victoria (St. George and Cathedral), Xagħra and Żebbuġ, Gozo. 

Philippines [edit] 

In predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, the day is commemorated with street processions, the Way of the Cross, the chanting of the Pasyón, and performances of the Senákulo or Passion play.  Some devotees engage in self-flagellation and even have themselves crucified as expressions of penance despite health issues and strong disapproval from the Church. [55] 

Church bells are not rung and Masses are celebrated, while television features movies, documentaries and other shows focused on the religious event and other topics related to the Catholic faith, broadcasting mostly religious content.  Malls and shops are generally closed, as are restaurants as it is the second of three public holidays within the week. 

After three o’clock in the afternoon (the time at which Jesus is traditionally believed to have died), the faithful venerate the cross in the local church and follow the procession of the Burial of Jesus.  The image of the dead Christ is then laid in state to be venerated, and sometimes treated in accordance with local burial customs. 

In Cebu and many parts of the Visayan Islands, people usually eat binignit and biko as a form of fasting. 

In the UK, Good Friday is an official public holiday [57] (a.k.a.  Bank Holiday).  All schools are closed and most businesses treat it as a holiday for staff; however, many retail stores now remain open.  Government services in Northern Ireland operate as normal on Good Friday substituting the holiday for Easter Tuesday. 

There has traditionally been no horse racing on Good Friday in the UK.  However, in 2008, betting shops and stores opened for the first time on this day [58] and in 2014 Lingfield Park and Musselburgh staged the UK’s first Good Friday race meetings. [59] [60] The BBC has for many years introduced its 7 am News broadcast on Radio 4 on Good Friday with a verse from Isaac Watts’ hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. 

United States [edit] 

In the United States, Good Friday is not a government holiday at the federal level; however, individual states, counties and municipalities may observe the holiday.  Good Friday is a state holiday in Connecticut, [61] Delaware, [62] Florida, [63] Hawaii, [64] Indiana, [65] Kentucky (half day), [66] Louisiana, [67] New Jersey, [68] North Carolina, [69] North Dakota, [70] Tennessee [71] and Texas. [72] State and local government offices and courts are closed, as well as some banks and postal offices in these states, and in those counties and municipalities where Good Friday is observed as a holiday.  Good Friday is also a holiday in the U.S.  territories of Guam, [73] U.S.  Virgin Islands [74] and Puerto Rico. [75] 

The stock markets are closed on Good Friday [76] [77] but the foreign exchange and bond trading markets open for a partial business day. [78] [79] Most retail stores remain open, while some of them may close early.  Public schools and universities are often closed on Good Friday, either as a holiday of its own, or part of spring break.  The postal service operates, and banks regulated by the federal government do not close for Good Friday. [80] 

In some governmental contexts Good Friday has been referred to by a generic name such as “spring holiday”. [81] [82] [83] In 1999, in the case of Bridenbaugh v O’Bannon, an Indiana state employee sued the governor for giving state employees Good Friday as a day off.  The US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiff, stating that the government could give state employees a paid day off when that day is a religious holiday, including Good Friday, but only so long as the state can provide a valid secular purpose that coincides with the obvious religious purpose of the holiday. [84] 

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter, which is calculated differently in Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity (see Computus for details).  Easter falls on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, the full moon on or after 21 March, taken to be the date of the vernal equinox.  The Western calculation uses the Gregorian calendar, while the Eastern calculation uses the Julian calendar, whose 21 March now corresponds to the Gregorian calendar’s 3 April.  The calculations for identifying the date of the full moon also differ.  See Computus. 

In Eastern Christianity, Easter can fall between 22 March and 25 April on Julian Calendar (thus between 4 April and 8 May in terms of the Gregorian calendar, during the period 1900 and 2099), so Good Friday can fall between 20 March and 23 April, inclusive (or between 2 April and 6 May in terms of the Gregorian calendar).  

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