Published in the Rains County Leader on March 30, 2021:
Holy Week began this past Sunday and ends this coming Sunday on Easter. But before we can get to Resurrection Sunday, we have to go through Good Friday.
Good Friday is the day when Christians remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Because it’s a somber day with an intense religious meaning, few if any traditional celebrations or secular customs have developed around it. Instead, this solemn day is often observed with worship services, prayer, penance, and fasting.
One of the first questions that comes up around this sacred day is why the observation of such a grim reality is call “Good.” There are several theories, but one makes a little more sense than the others. One idea is that Good Friday derives from “God’s” Friday; however, there’s no evidence of this in the history of the word. Another idea is that Jesus’ death for the forgiveness of sins was a good thing, so the anniversary of that event is a good thing, a Good Friday. Although, this might be a logical theory, those who are supposed to know about these things believe there is a better one. They say that at one time good meant holy. In some traditions, the Friday of Holy Week has been called Sacred Friday, Passion Friday, and in German, Sorrowful Friday. Other days of this week are called Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, and so forth. So it seems reasonable that just as Holy Thursday has become Maundy Thursday, Holy Friday has become Good Friday.(more…)