Portland News

Good Friday 2022: A Look Into the Religious Holiday

A brief history on Good Friday and how to celebrate the holiday
A brief history on Good Friday and how to celebrate the holiday

Good Friday 2022 – Everyone looks forward to a good holiday as it not only allows people to enjoy some time off from work but also to celebrate traditions. Holy Week is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in many Christian countries, consisting of five days to recall the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

While each day is important, Good Friday perhaps stands out of the five-day holiday as it marks the crucifixion and death of Christ. For many Catholics, protestants, and other religious branches that have faith in Christ, it is the day that many reflect on His sacrifice for their sins.

When is Good Friday 2022?

Along with the rest of the Holy Week, Good Friday is celebrated the Friday before Easter Sunday. The holiday varies yearly, meaning Good Friday falls on the Friday before Easter. In 2022, Good Friday fell on April 15. 

What is Good Friday?

The holiday marks the final advent of Jesus Christ’s time on Earth as a man and commemorates his crucifixion and death. As per tradition, followers in the Christian denomination spend the day reflecting.

Protestants typically spend the day in prayer, and some practice fasting. The Roman Catholic Tradition takes followers to participate in the Stations of the Cross, a 14-step devotion that involves reciting devotional prayers.

Symbols Used in Good Friday

As with the theme of Holy Week and the Christian religion, Good Friday emphasizes the symbolism of the crucifix or cross, representing how Jesus died. The cross is typically outlined, but some also have the figure or illustration of Christ crucified on it. 

Outside of the cross, Good Friday also uses a black cloth to cover crosses, paintings, and statues in churches or homes that have them to indicate mourning.

Good Friday Background

Good Friday marks the third day of the Holy Week and the day Christ suffered for the world and his final hours as a man on Earth. Therefore, it is often seen as a day for penance wherein followers spend the holiday remembering Christ’s sacrifice.

Despite the bleak reason for celebrating, linguists believe that the name of the holiday is derived from an old usage of the word “good,” often replacing “holy” instead of the modern iteration of something positive. While others argue that the name comes from the German phrase “Gottes Freitag,” which translates to Good Friday, others speculate that the “holy” aspect seems more plausible.

Good Friday also signals the beginning of the end of the Holy Week. The final three days are known as the “Triduum” or “The Three Days,” which saw Jesus undergo trial, death by crucifixion, and his resurrection. Triduum typically starts on the evening of Maundy Thursday and concludes on the evening of Easter Sunday.

How Does Good Friday Affect the Public?

While Good Friday is not recognized as a national holiday, some states recognize the tradition and even require companies to give employees a day off from the office. State governments, schools, and businesses are also closed. However, some public transport is still available on Good Friday.

Twelve states currently recognize Good Friday as a public holiday, including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Dakota, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. 

However, each state celebrates the holiday in different ways. For example, in Tennessee, areas like Perry County consider Good Friday a school holiday, while Connecticut designated it as a day of fasting and prayer.

In 1999, an Indiana state employee took issue with the holiday, suing the government for giving employees a day off. The case, Bridenbaugh V O’Bannon, saw the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rule against the accuser, reason that the government could give state employees a paid day off on a religious day provided that the state can offer a valid secular purpose that occurs with the religious purpose of the holiday.

How to Celebrate Good Friday 2022?

Followers of the Christian denomination celebrate Good Friday in various ways. The majority of Roman Catholics participate in the Stations of the Cross to follow the traditional steps imitated from practices in Jerusalem and offer their devotional prayers in various religious establishments in the area while Protestants take to prayer or fasting. Other countries have their own celebrations like hosting a parade or re-enacting Christ’s march to Calvary Hills before crucifixion.

Meanwhile, non-religious people often take to the road to celebrate their day off, hitting the beach or embarking on hikes. Because some cities don’t celebrate the holidays, people can enjoy their usual leisures – a reservation at a restaurant or a trip to the cinema.

Things to Do on Good Friday 2022 Following the Pandemic

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic not only shook up the economy, but also religious practices, including Holy Week. While 2022 has seen some improvements since the strict rules during the outbreak, some establishments (churches included) are still wary of following protocols. 

The Stations of the Cross and masses can still be held so long as attendants pay attention to the protocols in place. Families and friends can also gather in houses for prayers, fasting, and watching films like The Passion of the Christ and The Last Temptation.

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.