Good Friday Celebrations
Good Friday is a day of mourning for Christians, as it commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Liturgical services are held in the church, on this day. They start at noon and continue for the next three hours i.e. till 3 pm. Jesus is believed to have died on the Cross at three in the afternoon. 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.
There is a three-hour service that consists of reading passages from the Gospel, about the Seven Last Words of Jesus. Each reading is followed by a message from the priest, a few minutes of silent meditation and a hymn. Devotion called “Tre Ore” or “Three Hours’ Agony” is held at this time, which is followed by meditating on His Passion – reading the Gospel narratives of the Passion. The service ends with the journey to the cross.
Good Friday rituals and traditions are distinct from those of all other Church observances and add to the festival’s considerable significance. The entire ceremony is somber, with priests and deacons dressing in black vestments. The pulpit and the altar are bare, and no candles are lit. The Roman Catholic Church observes Good Friday with several long-standing traditions. Services include the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion.
Throughout the world, Christian countries have chosen different ways to observe Good Friday. However, the main essence remains the same. Good Friday still marks the culmination of Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday, and it takes place two days before Easter Sunday. Good Friday services are aimed at allowing worshipers to experience some sense of the pain and humiliation that Christ experienced on this day, centuries ago.