Good Friday

Good Friday Quick Facts - IN

AKA NameHoly and Great Friday, गुड फ्राइडे
HashtagsCompiled on#GoodFriday, #GoodFriday2024
Related Hashtags#Easter, #JesusChrist, #FactsAboutJesus, #Jesus
2024 Date29 March 2024
2025 Date18 April 2025

Good Friday

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Good Friday History

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his subsequent death at Calvary. Acknowledged universally by Christians, it is a solemn day marked with prayers, penances, and fasting to honor the sacrifice made by Jesus to atone for mankind's sins. The day emphasizes themes of sacrifice, redemption, and gratitude, more than celebration.

The origin of Good Friday is rooted in Christian theology, tracing back to Jesus Christ's crucifixion and death in the first century AD. As per the account provided in the Christian scriptures, Good Friday represents the culmination of Jesus' journey to martyrdom, an event full of profound implications for Christian believers. In India, Good Friday holds a significant place among the Christian community which constitutes approximately 2.3% of the total population. The day serves as a poignant reminder for Indian Christians of Jesus' immense suffering and steadfast commitment to the path of righteousness and love for mankind.

In India, Good Friday is a gazetted holiday, observed with deep respect and devotion, resulting in many offices, schools, and commercial establishments remaining closed. Churches throughout the country organize special prayer services, processions, and the enactments of the Way of the Cross, making the day's observances both contemplative and communal. The three-hour service, recollecting the last three hours of Jesus's life, is a significant part of the ritual in many churches. The day, falling on the Friday immediately preceding Easter Sunday, changes every year as it depends on the Lunar calendar. As such, Good Friday is held between March 20th and April 23rd, with the exact date varying annually.

Facts about Good Friday

  • In the Orthodox tradition, the day is called Holy and Great Friday. In typical Orthodox services, a cross is removed from the church sanctuary and the congregation observes a service that focuses on Christ's burial in the tomb.
  • A service called Tenebrae is often held on Good Friday. It focuses on reading the scriptures that describe Jesus' arrest, trial, beating, and crucifixion. In the Roman Catholic Church, Tenebrae may be celebrated on Holy Thursday. Another variation, called Tre Ore, or three hours, is a service that runs typically from noon to 3 p.m., believed to be the time of Jesus' death. It focuses on the last seven phrases that Christ said before his death based on several different gospels. Each phrase is accompanied by a scripture reading, a hymn, and sometimes a short sermon.
  • The Way, or Stations, of the Cross is another way that Christians observe Good Friday. It is primarily a Roman Catholic tradition, but some Protestant churches practice it as well. Depictions of the last 12 acts of Jesus' life are placed in the church or are sometimes permanently stationed outside on the church grounds. Worshipers walk from one station to the next in prayer and contemplation.
  • Good Friday also overlaps with the Hindu festival of Navaratri, providing an interesting blend of cultures and religious practices in some parts of the country.
  • In the Union Territory of Puducherry and the state of Goa, which have a higher Christian population, the observations and rituals are more pronounced.

Top things to do in India for Good Friday

  • One tradition on Good Friday is to make and eat hot cross buns. The bread, which is slightly sweet, has a cross on the top that represents the crucifixion. It is thought to be an English tradition that dates back 500 years.
  • Attend Church Services: Good Friday is a public holiday in India and churches across the country hold special services. Some of the famous churches to visit during Good Friday in India are Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, St. Paul's Cathedral in Kolkata, Santhome Cathedral Basilica in Chennai, Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi and St. Francis Church in Kochi.
  • Read a book to learn more about Good Friday in India:
    Christianity in India: From Beginnings to the Present - by Robert Eric Frykenberg: This provides comprehensive content about Christianity in India and includes a brief discussion on the subject.

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