By Diane Forrest
Growing up as a Southern Baptist, I don't recall celebrating Good Friday. To me, Good Friday was good, because we got the day off from school, and any day out of school was a good day! The real reason for celebrating Good Friday is this is the day that Jesus was put to death on the cross. Now, how can that possibly be called good? Well that act is not what is good about Good Friday. As I came to learn, it is called Good Friday, because of the results of His death. As I Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit."
It is also known as Black Friday, Holy Friday, Great Friday, or Easter Friday. Today is also the beginning of the Jewish Passover. It is celebrated by the Catholic religion by a day of fasting. The only sacraments celebrated during this time are Baptism (for those in danger of death), Penance, and Anointing of the Sick. During this period crosses, candlesticks, and altar cloths are removed from the altar which remains completely bare. It is also customary to empty the holy water fonts in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. Traditionally, no bells are rung on Good Friday or Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil.
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 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 is the paramount event of the Christian faith.
It seems to me that every Good Friday has always been a dark and rainy day. It reminds me of the terrible events and pain that was felt by those in attendance. If you have seen the movie The Passion, one can only imagine the heartbreak those people endured. So today, on Good Friday, remember that the goodness comes from the promise of eternity in Heaven.