Easter Holiday Week – Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday
Good Friday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation.
On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith. According to Gregorian calendar its date varies from one year to next.
At Good Friday we properly pray, “Thank you Jesus for coming to die for our sins.” We retell the story of the passion, and our eyes tear up at the sacrifice. It is a day of mourning in church. Churches all over the world hold special services. Christians think about the meaning of Jesus’ suffering and his death on the cross. In many countries, religious groups re-enact the final hours of Jesus’ life, leading up to his death. Part of this is the reciting of Jesus’ final words. No one agrees which saying was his last. They include “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Good Friday is a public holiday in many countries with a strong Christian tradition. Many shops and businesses close for the day. In America and India, the stock markets close on Good Friday. In many English-speaking countries, people eat hot-cross buns. These are sweet raisin buns with a cross on the top. They are usually toasted and buttered. Many Catholics, however, are supposed to fast on this day. In reality, most practicing Catholics will avoid meat.
There is a very unusual custom in Bermuda. People fly kites that are shaped like a cross. The kites flying in the sky symbolize Jesus going up to heaven. Many people stay at home and watch TV. There are many religious shows on, and movies about the Bible. Many Christian churches celebrate Good Friday with a subdued service, usually in the evening, in which Christ’s death is remembered with solemn hymns, prayers of thanksgiving, a message centered on Christ’s suffering for our sakes, and observance of the Lord’s Supper. Whether or not Christians choose to “celebrate” Good Friday, the events of that day should be ever on our minds because the death of Christ on the cross—along with His bodily resurrection—is the paramount event of the Christian faith.