Good Friday is a time of great faith and reflection of the devotion of Christians around the world. It is believed that on this day Jesus was crucified. The term Good Friday is also called the Great or the Holy Friday. The origin of the term Good is not so distinct. Some say that that the term is not particularly from English; it is from the German Gute Freitag. The day was called Long Friday by the Anglo-Saxons. The day is celebrated in a lot of ways. In the orthodox faith the cross is taken down and the story of Jesus’s last days called the Passion of Christ is recounted. Good Friday is also noted as the final service of the Holy Week, following the Holy Thursday and Palm Sunday. In some other Christian faiths, there is an Easter vigil on Saturday night to bring the light back into the church.
Here are some amazing facts about Good Friday
- The Oxford University, in the year 1985, published a paper that stated that the original day of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was April 3, 33AD. They derived this information from scriptural documentation and astronomical tables. They also pointed that the crucifixion occurred during the Jewish Festival, Passover.
- Some scholars believe that Jesus was crucified with nails driven into his wrist and not hands as humans are able to bear their own weight within the wrists. If Jesus was nailed only in his hands, he would have fallen to the ground.
- Apart from the reading from the Holy Bible there is a service called ‘Tenebrae’, which is often held on Good Friday. It focuses on understanding the stories that narrate Jesus’ capture, trial, assault, and crucifixion. Tenebrae may be celebrated on Holy Thursday, in the Roman Catholic Church.
- Another ritual, called ‘Tre Ore’ is a three hour service that runs typically from noon to 3 p.m.; is believed to be the time of Jesus’ death. It focuses on the last seven sentences that Christ claimed before his death. Each phrase is accompanied by a reading, a song, and sometimes a short oration.
- Lent is a 40 day abstinence period where Christians across the world pledge to give up something. It is widely followed where people give up drinking, feasting or other pleasures of life. This is the Holy Fast; it ends on the Good Friday.
- Many Good Friday services end with the church bell ringing 33 times for each year of Jesus’ earthly life.