Good Friday marks the day on which Christians around the world commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The religious observance takes place during Holy Week, a couple of days before Easter Sunday.
Here’s everything you need to know about Good Friday:
When is it?
This year, Good Friday falls on Friday 15 April on the Gregorian calendar.
Its date coincides with the middle of the Jewish festival of Passover.
According to the Julian calendar, which is still used in parts of the eastern Orthodox church, Good Friday will take place this year on Friday 22 April.
Good Friday marks the sixth day of Holy Week, an annual Christian observance leading up to Easter Sunday.
It follows Maundy Thursday, and precedes Holy Saturday and Easter Day.
What is Good Friday?
Good Friday is the day on which Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, prior to when he was believed to have been resurrected.
While the name Good Friday isn’t mentioned in the Bible, the religious text tells the story of how Christ was beaten and mocked by Roman soldiers before being made to carry a cross to the site of his subsequent crucifixion.
Due to the events commemorated on the holy day, some might question why it’s known as “Good” Friday.
Rather than indicating that the day is a joyous occasion, the “good” in Good Friday actually comes from the antiquated definition of the word, meaning “pious” or “holy”.
While it’s widely believed that Christ was crucified on a Friday, the day of the week of the crucifixion is not mentioned in the Bible.
Some speculate that the crucifixion may have taken place on a Wednesday or Thursday, due to a line in the Gospel of Matthew in which Christ states that he would be dead for “three days and three nights”.
It’s commonly understood that Christ was resurrected on a Sunday morning.
How is it observed?
In several sectors of Christianity, including eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Catholic, Good Friday is observed by some Christians by attending church services and by fasting.
The holy day is also traditionally commemorated by carrying out reenactments of the events which led to Christ’s crucifixion, known as the Passion of Jesus.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.