Last Updated: 6th April, 2020

What is Good Friday?



It is ironical that the Friday before Easter Sunday associated with the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ is known all across the globe as Good Friday. This day is remembered as one of the grave days signifying excruciating torture and pain that led to Jesus' last breath. The crucifixion is lamented by Christians to commemorate Jesus' compassion for salvation of sinful humanity. This year, Good Friday falls on Friday, 10 April.

Why is Good Friday called good?

  • There are a number of theories that justify this "day of lament" in positive terms. One theory is of the opinion that "Good" in Good Friday comes from the word "God".

  • Another theory says that "Good" refers to holy. Several Christians are often perceived referring to this day as "The Great Friday". Some parts of the world also knows this day as "The Black Friday", "The Sorrowful Friday" or "Long Friday".

  • One of the oldest Christian holidays, this day has been observed since 100 CE. Christian nations including Australia, Ecuador, United Kingdom, Bolivia, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Guatemala, Venezuela and Spain enjoy a public holiday on Good Friday. However, Good Friday is not treated as a federal holiday in the United States of America.

How is Good Friday observed around the world?

  • Most Christians are expected to keep a fast and bear a little pain, even if it is just for a day. Meat and alcohol are strictly prohibited for consumption on this day. Traditionally, Polish Christians fast on roasted potatoes and dry bread.

  • In short, any celebration, entertainments and events are abstained by Christian individuals in every country across the globe. Even covering Jesus' statues and idols with black cloth and creating an atmosphere of bareness in one's homes by removing flowers, decorative pieces and shining objects are some of the rituals followed on the day of mourning.

Mass gatherings in the churches:

  • This mournful day is observed by conducting masses at churches, reading passages from the Bible and singing Good Friday songs.

  • All the religious activities add significance to this holy day. Most church services are organized in the afternoon, usually between noon to 3pm, to remember the final hours when Jesus was crucified. Many Christian institutions in Italy, India, Malta, the Philippines, and Spain observe the day by re-enacting the procession of the cross held during Jesus's lifetime.

Prayers and chanting:

  • Christians around the globe end the day by chanting payers and meditating at the church. The prayers and sermons that are associated with Good Friday bring to light Jesus Christ's sacrifices and sufferings for the short period he walked on this earth.

  • It was Jesus' blood which acted as the instrument for atonement. Such an atonement brought peace and forgiveness to those who had been tainted with sins.

Charitable activities:

  • People are also encouraged to perform little philanthropic activities to give respite to the poor and the needy. Devotees dressed in black also tend to go out for processions with the idol of Jesus Christ. Some institutions, churches also carry out a ritual burial.

Kite-flying custom:

  • Since the beginning of the 19th century, Bermudians fly handmade kites symbolizing Jesus's ascension into heaven after painful crucifixion.

Good Friday Messages

For God so loved the world
That he gave his only begotten son
To be crucified & perished
For the sins of the world
And saved humanity
May God bless us all on this Good Friday!
On this Holy day...
May His light guide your path...
May his love grace your heart...
And may His sacrifice
Strengthen your Soul!
Wishes for HAPPY GOOD FRIDAY....!
May you live in his abiding love
May Jesus who was born in a manger
Be born again in your Heart.
Happy Good Friday
May the glory of our savior strengthen you and his choicest blessings shine on you.
Happy Good Friday!
May the goodness of the season knock your doorstep and stay at your home forever.
Happy Good Friday!
Jesus stays with those who keep faith on him.
May your faith on the Lord stay unshaken!
May the love of the Lord always reside at your heart!
Though he is long gone his teachings
still show us the right path of love, trust and faith.
Wish you a Holy Friday!
May Jesus bless you with his grace
on this Holy Day of Good Friday and always!
Good Friday Cards
Jesus had shown us the way of mercy, peace and love
May the love for the Lord always light your path
and endow you with the spirit to do the right things!
May Jesus always light your way with eternal bliss!
Good Friday!
Jesus had taught us to forgive and love even your enemies.
May you find the courage in your heart to live up to his teaching!
Good Friday!
He is our savior.
May his blessings shower on you on this Good Friday!
Quotes Good Friday
He died so that we don't live with sins.
Let's take an oath that his teaching wouldn't go in vain.
Good Friday!
On Good Friday I pray to God that he always keep you in loving care.
Make it a day for repentance and penance.
May He endow you with the blessing of forgiveness!
May his grace always shine upon you!
Hope his love always stays with you and lights your way as you further in your life.
Quotes Good Friday
He is the redeemer.
May he bless you with love, prosperity and endearing joy!
Wish you the very best in life for today and always. Good Friday!
On this blessed day I pray to the Lord to always keep you under His loving care.
Have a peaceful Good Friday! May He always keep you happy!
Quotes Good Friday
Sometimes I want God to be so
comfortable in my heart that He
could sit back in a lounge chair,
when all the while
He is looking for a throne.
Happy Good Friday
May on this GOOD FRIDAY we start it with
Fasting and Prayers so that we can bring
God's mercy and forgiveness on all mankind
Lets Pray together.
Praying that the Lord fills your Heart with Peace ...
Holds you in His Love & Blesses you with His Grace...
On dis Holy Day & Always

Good Friday Quotes

No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
– William Penn
Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf in springtime.
-- Martin Luther
Christ has not only spoken to us by his life but has also spoken for us by his death.
Soren Kierkegaard
Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf in springtime.
 Martin Luther
At Sussen, the Devil carried off, last Good Friday, three grooms who had devoted themselves to him.
-- Martin Luther
Death is the justification of all the ways of the Christian, the last end of all his sacrifices, the touch of the Great Master which completes the picture.
-- Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine
The cross was two pieces of dead wood; and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it; yet it was mightier than the world, and triumphed, and will ever triumph over it.
-- Augustus William Hare
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
-- Bible, I Peter (ch. II, v. 24)

Good Friday Prayers

A Prayer for Others
O Jesus, have mercy on your holy Church; take care of it.
O Jesus, have pity on poor sinners and save them from hell.
O Jesus, bless my father, my mother, my brothers and sisters, and all I ought to pray for.
O Jesus, have pity on the souls in purgatory and bring them to your heavenly rest.

A Prayer for Holiness for Good Friday
Lord, for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray,
Keep me, my God , from stain of sins,
Let me both work diligently and duly pray,
Let me be kind in word and deed to others,
Let me do no wrong or idle in words, unthinking to say,
Set you a lock upon my lips
Let me in season, Lord, be grave, in season gay,
Let me be faithful to your grace just for today,
And if today, my tide of life should ebb away,
O bid be, if today I die, come home today,
So, for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray,
But keep me , guide and love me, Lord, I pray to you.

A Prayer to express sorrow for sins
God my Father,
I am truly sorry for having turned away from your friendship.
You have shown only love towards me.
I have sometimes shown little love in return.
Because of your only SON, JESUS who died and rose for me, forgive me all my sins.
Father, not only have I offended you by my sins, but I have also offended your community here on earth.
I promise to show greater love to my neighbor so as to make up for my sins.
I can do nothing unless your Holy Spirit helps me to lead a life such as Jesus did, a life spent forgetful of self in the service of others.

A Prayer for the Homeless
O Lord our God,

Have mercy upon those whom war or starvation have robbed of homes and friends.
Aid all those who try to help them.
We ask you to care also for those whose homes are broken by family fights and lack of love.
We ask that where the love of man has failed your love may find success.
We ask this through Jesus Christ , your Son, (Amen)

A Prayer for the Dead
Father in heaven,
Have mercy on those in Purgatory.
They cannot help themselves.

Listen to my prayers and penances, May help them quickly to enjoy never ending happiness with you in your heavenly kingdom.
I offer this prayer through Christ, our Lord.

Jesus Christ,
Son of God made Man,
crowned with thorns,
bearing a scepter of a reed,
wearing a royal cloak purpled
with Your Precious Blood,
I venerate You as the Man of Sorrows
and acknowledge You as my Lord and King!

Jesus crucified,
I firmly renounce the devil
and detest all sin
that has torn me from Your loving friendship.
I pledge my loyalty to You,
my Saviour,
and beg You to make me Your own in sincerest love.
I promise to be faithful in service to You,
and to strive to become more pleasing to you
by avoiding every sin and its occasions,
by carrying out my duties
perfectly as a good Catholic,
and by practicing virtue.

Jesus crucified,
accept the homage I wish to render You
during this novena,
as a token of my sincerest appreciation
for the sorrows and sufferings
You have willingly borne to atone for my many sins
and to prove how much You love me.

I adore You as my very God,
Who willed to become Man
in order to save me from eternal death.

I thank You as my best Friend,
Who laid down Your life
as proof of the greatest love possible.

I ask pardon for having so little thought of You,
Jesus crucified,
and for having caused Your sorrows
and sufferings by the many sins I have committed.

I pray to You,
dearest Jesus,
for all the graces I need to know You,
to love You and serve You faithfully unto death,
and to save my soul.
Give me a tender and fervent devotion
to Your Sacred Passion by which I was redeemed,
venerating You especially in Holy Mass.
Teach me how to unite sorrows and sufferings
of my life with Your own.

Finally, through all Your sorrows and pains,
through Your Sacred Heart
glowing with love for me,
broken because of my want of love for You,
through the sorrows of Mary,
your Sorrowful Mother,
I ask for this special favour:

Mention your request here...

With childlike trust
I abandon myself to Your holy Will
concerning my request.

How to celebrate Good Friday

Good Friday is observed on the Friday that falls just before Easter. Alternatively, it can be referred to as "the last Friday of Lent." In 2020, Good Friday will be observed on April 10th. The date varies every year, owing to the fact that it is determined based on the lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar (which is usually known as the regular calendar).Basically, the customs that are observed on Good Friday are not considered to be celebrations; rather, the day is set aside for abstinence and fasting. This is the day that Christians believe Jesus Christ gave His life to save mankind, and suffered pain and agony on the Cross for His people. Therefore, they spend the day recalling that pain and reflecting on Jesus' sacrifice.

Given below are certain customs and traditions that are observed on Good Friday.
  • This is the only day when the church's altar is not decorated.

  • You won't find a burning candle, or any other form of adornment. The entire day is dedicated to saying prayers and exercising self-denial.

  • The idea behind this is that, on this day, every Christian partakes in the painful experience that Jesus Christ had to suffer through when He was being crucified.

  • So, followers must refrain from pleasurable activities like watching television, consuming rich foods, drinking alcohol, and smoking.

Good Friday Fasting

  • People who observe Good Friday restrain themselves from having large meals on this day. Often, they will have lighter meals, or only have one for the entire day.

  • Such a meal should essentially be without any kind of meat products, and is consumed after sunset. Those who participate can drink water, but do not consume any solid food until the time of the meal.

  • This is applicable for people between the ages of 18 and 59, however, those suffering from illnesses are not required to do anything that might aggravate their condition.

Prayer Services

  • For most Christians, liturgical services take center stage throughout the day. Worshippers gather at the church around midday for the prayer services, at the time when it is assumed that Jesus was first crucified.

  • This service will last for a couple of hours. Passages are read from the Gospel, with the main focus being on the Seven Last Words of Christ.

  • Once the Bible readings are finished, the priest (or minister, in Protestant churches) explains the meaning of these holy words. Thereafter, the worshippers pray in silence for a couple of minutes, sing hymns, and meditate.

  • There are a number of different customs performed during Good Friday services among the many Christian denominations.

  • These can include such rites as Holy Communion, the Liturgy of the Word (praying for nonbelievers), and the Veneration of the Cross. Most churches in the Western tradition focus on the Seven Last Words and observe the Tenebrae, or Service of Darkness, in which psalms are recited and a series of candles are extinguished.

  • The earthquake that is said to have followed the death of Christ is then symbolized with a loud noise, called the strepitus.

  • The color for this day is now mainly red, used in the hangings that decorate the church as well as the clothing (or vestments) worn by the clergy. The more traditional color, however, is black, and it is still used for this purpose in many churches even today.