What is celebrated on Good Friday and what does it mean –

Among the outstanding days within Holy Week, we have to mention, of course, Holy Thursday as well as Good Friday, the day that represents the crucifixion of Jesus. We explain now what is celebrated on Good Friday and what does it mean.

What is celebrated on Good Friday and what does it mean?

The Good Friday is one of the most important days before the Easter celebration. Many associate Good Friday with Lent, but in reality Lent ends the evening of the day before, and Good Friday is actually part of the so-called Easter Triduum that begins with Holy Thursday and Holy Week which begins with Palm Sunday.

It is a very important moment of the Easter period that, let us remember, ends with Corpus Christi (followed by the Sacred Heart of Jesus), because On Good Friday we remember the Passion and the crucifixion of Christ. Good Friday falls this year on April 10, 2020and it is the day on which the Via Crucis takes place, which in fact is represented in many of the processions that are held in Spain that we will talk about later.

Like Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and indeed all of Holy Week and Easter, Good Friday is also a mobile party whose date moves every year according to the day that Easter falls. Therefore, the date of Good Friday must be verified because it is calculated after the days of Lent. According to the tradition, to define the day on which Good Friday is celebrated, it is considered the first Friday of the full moon after the spring equinox (in the northern hemisphere) or the autumnal equinox (in the southern hemisphere). In this case, Good Friday can take place between March 22 and April 25.

After setting the date for Good Friday, other celebrations are set, such as Easter Sunday, Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent), and Carnival.

Meaning of Good Friday

Good Friday is the day of the passion of Christthe day that the meaning of the cross is celebrated (and their worship) and the sacrifice that Jesus made for men. In the meaning of Good Friday, the symbol of the Cross and the crucifixion remind us of that extreme sacrifice of the Son of God in dying for the sins of men.

The Good Friday Mass readings count the loneliness of Jesus, the betrayal of one of his disciples, his greatest test: accepting to do what his Father asked him, giving his life to save humanity of sin. In fact, before the Gospel these words are often sung: “For us Christ became obedient unto death and even death on the cross. For this reason God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name.” Just to commemorate this difficult time, on Good Friday it is tradition that the church bells do not ringno one should hear any sound in the church.

Good Friday Liturgy

The Good Friday mass is different from other celebrations of the rest of the year. To get started , the Eucharist is not celebrated, but the priest distributes the communion using hosts consecrated in the previous days. The liturgy of Good Friday it is celebrated in the afternoon and in the center of the prayer the Passion of Christ is read and the Gospel of John 18, 1-19, 42 is read in which the evangelist recounts the events that go from the betrayal and the kiss of Judas to the deposition of Jesus in the Sepulchre. In the Gospel of Good Friday therefore, the meeting with Pilate is also told, the episode of the liberation attempt by exchanging it with Barrabás, the cry of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene under the Cross of Jesus. It is quite a long reading compared to the Gospel of other Sundays or masses that are celebrated on these days and it is certainly a moment that requires reflection and reconsideration.

The presence of Mary Magdalene is also clear in the Gospel . In addition to reading the Gospel and the Eucharist during the Good Friday Mass, the moment of adoration of the Cross is also fundamental. In general, the cross is carried covered by a veil and then gradually discovered by the priest who meanwhile recites the “Ecce lignum crucis.”

Should I fast on Good Friday?

Good Friday is one of two fast days prescribed by the Catholic Church along with Ash Wednesday. Theoretically, those over 18 and under 60 should be limited to drink water and a little bread, but if you really can’t fast completely because you have to go to work, you should be content with a light meal and definitely avoid meat. This fast is called an ecclesiastical fast.

Good Friday processions in Spain

In Spain the celebration of Good Friday makes it considered a national holidayso it is one of the most important days in our Holy Week in which, in addition, the main cities celebrate processions with images of Jesus on the cross.

Among the outstanding Spanish processions within Good Friday, we can mention that of Basin that at dawn celebrates the procession of the Camino del Calvario, in which the participation of many people who recreate those who rebuked Jesus while he was carrying the cross before being crucified stands out. Precisely for this reason, the procession is also known as the “Turba”.

Also noteworthy is the procession of three joint brotherhoods in Grenade also at dawn, but in addition a special mass is celebrated at three in the afternoon, keeping respect for being the hour of Christ’s death, while in Malagaone of the Spanish cities most deeply rooted in Holy Week, several processions are held along with a Via Crucis in the “Cristo Mutilado” Cathedral.