Good Friday is finally upon us, which means that Easter is nearly here! But what is Good Friday? and what do we do to commemorate it?
A Christian Holiday
Good Friday marks the day when Jesus was arrested and condemned for blasphemy and treason. He was given a cross and ordered to carry it to ‘the place of the skull,’ where he was crucified. To commemorate this, Christians attend the Procession of Witness, which involves a congregation (a group of people) follow a cross borne through their parish.
So, why is it called Good Friday?
There are two reasons why - despite the event - it is called Good Friday. This is because:
- In this situation, the phrase ‘good’ can be taken to mean holy.
- Despite the horror of the event, it is Jesus’ death and rebirth that act as the central feature of the Christian faith.
In short, Jesus’ sacrifice after taking on the sins of the world meant that we could be forgiven, and it is a celebration of his sacrifice.
Good Friday is not only a bank holiday in many countries across the world, but in the Catholic Church it is a day of - almost - complete fasting.
A day of fasting, except for...
In particular, Christians fast all meat on Good Friday, this is because Jesus sacrificed his flesh, and therefore Christians should not eat flesh.
This leaves the exception of fish, however, and many religious and non-religious people alike head down to the local fish and chip shop to commemorate the day.