The Friday which is celebrated in advance of the festival of Easter is the most solemn day for Christians. It is the day on which Jesus Christ died on the cross. This day is known as Good Friday. Good Friday is a day of mourning, and all the ceremonies and rituals of the day are centred on the feeling of sorrow, at the pain.
Good Friday is mainly devoted to fasting and prayer, as a way of following the example of Jesus, who stressed the role of prayer in the struggle to kill evil. The service consists of prayers and readings from the Bible. In many churches, a piece of wood in the shape of the cross is kept. People pray before the cross and kiss it. Jesus is believed to have died on the Cross at 3 o clock in the afternoon. Therefore, the traditional service lasts for three hours from noon. Some churches concentrate on prayers. They encourage people to become involved in charitable deeds. In some churches, mourners wear black and show the Passion of Christ - scenes of Christ's crucifixion and burial. Many churches cover the cross and the altar with mourning black, and do not light any candles. The church bells are not rung on Good Friday. Catholic churches follow the tradition of the Stations of the Cross. People pass before paintings depicting the important scenes of the last hours of Jesus' life, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
Good Friday is the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Jesus Christ was born to Mary in Bethlehem which is a small town in Israel. He was the founder of Christianity and this has become one of the world’s largest religions. Christ is believed to be an incarnation of God and his teachings are described in the New Testament. It is believed that on Good Friday, Christ was arrested by clergymen. Hence, Good Friday is believed to be the time when Christians keep fast and celebrate the day over the birth of Christ.
Some people believe that GOOD FRIDAY is referred to as GOD. On this day, it is Jesus who went to heaven. It is also celebrated as a festival of life and spirit. During the night of the mass, the crucifix, which until this time has been kept from view, is now uncovered before the crowd for veneration. The Way of the Cross is a re-enactment of the path Jesus took on Mount Calvary before the Crucifixion. A large wooden cross carried by an image of Jesus is taken from the church, down the steps, and through the streets of the town. It is carried by the clergymen while the crowd follows in two parallel lines in front of and in back of the statue, some weeping and all with very solemn faces.
Those not participating in the actual procession look on from the roadsides, both Hindus and Christians alike. Sombre music and hymns played by a band accompanies the procession, which slowly winds its way through the main streets before returning to the church. The mass and procession occur in every church in the world.