Good Friday is the day when Jesus Christ
was crucified and the Christians offer prayers and services
in the Churches. Easter is another important festival
for Christians. On this day Jesus Christ rose from the
dead and ascended into heaven. Easter eggs and Easter
bunnies are a major attraction during Easter, the festival
of rejuvenation of life and living.
In the days of the early Christian church, only Easter
Sunday was celebrated as a holy day. By the fourth century,
each day of the week preceding Easter was established
as holy days including Good Friday.
To most Christians, Good Friday is really a misnomer
in that it was a "bad" Friday—the crucifixion
day of Jesus. Some believe the term "Good"
evolved from "God" or God's Friday. Others
believe "good" represents the good gift of
salvation brought forth by the martyrdom. Regardless,
it is a holy day throughout the Christian world.
Ceremonial worship of the holiday follows closely to
the events described in the scriptures. Some congregations
still hold a three-hour service on Friday representing
the three hours He hanged on the cross. A typical service
includes seven distinct elements representative of Christ's
seven utterances while on the cross.
Good Friday is a day of sincere reverence among Goan
Catholics. It is the culmination of Lent, an important
observance in the lives of devout Catholics. Lent is
observed for 40 days from February to March, beginning
with Ash Wednesday and ending on Good Friday followed
by Easter Sunday.
The Legend Behind Easter
Originally known as 'God's Friday', the present expression
is believed to have emerged in the 10th or 11th century.
According to Christian legend, Jesus Christ was from
Nazareth, a town in modern Israel. A well-loved and
respected citizen, he was considered by many to be the
Son of God.
Some high officials and Jewish priests, however, felt
that he was trying to usurp their authority and mislead
the people. They hatched a plot against Christ with
the help of one of his 12 apostles, named Judas. On
charges of misleading the people, of instigating them
not to pay taxes to the emperor, and of claiming to
be the messenger of God, they arrested Christ. The following
day, he was produced before a council comprising priests,
teachers of law and elders, and questioned about the
charges against him.
Finding him guilty on all counts, they presented him
before the Roman Governor, who saw no reason to condemn
him. But the priests were adamant. They insisted that
it was his teachings, which were responsible for all
the riots in the city of Judea. At the same time, they
pleaded for the release of one of their men, who had
been imprisoned for the crime. The Governor appealed
to them, reiterating that Christ had done no wrong.
When the clergy did not agree, he handed Jesus Christ
to them to do as they wished. The crowd asked for his
As he was led away by the soldiers, he was made to
wear a crown of thorns and mockingly addressed as 'King
of the Jews' by the jeering crowd. A huge wooden cross
was placed on his shoulders, and he carried it to the
place assigned for his crucifixion. In a show of solidarity,
a group of his followers marched in a procession behind
him. Two criminals were also led to the same place to
be put to death with Jesus. At the assigned place, the
three men were nailed to the crosses and left to die.
Before he breathed his last, Jesus asked God, his father,
to forgive those who were responsible for his death,
as they were unaware of the magnitude of their sin.
Jesus is believed to have died at 3 o'clock in the afternoon,
three hours after being nailed to the cross.