Good Friday

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 25 Mar, 2016

Bits and bobs

The 'Good' in Good Friday comes from old English when Good meant Holy. So you could call Good Friday, 'Holy Friday'. The Anglo-Saxon name for Good Friday was Long Friday, due to the long fast imposed upon this day while in Italy the day is called 'Venerdì Santo' ( le Vendredi Saint en français).

'Good Friday' in the Christian faith is remembered as the day on which Christ was crucified ; the world the famous 'Via Crucis' or 'Way of the Cross' also known as the 'Stations of the Cross' when the Pope leads a solemn torchlight procession from the Colosseum to the Palatine Hill represents exactly this.

In this Good Friday liturgy, the fourteen 'stations of the cross' are marked, each signifying a part of Christ's passion and death. Pilgrims carry a wooden cross around each 'station', and for part of the way the Pope himself takes the cross. This tradition is duplicated in many christian parishes across the world.

Good Friday was not celebrated in the UK as the day Christ died until the 4th century AD; since the early 19th century, before the introduction of bank holidays, Good Friday and Christmas Day were the only two days of leisure which were almost universally granted to working people.

In France cloches volantes  or flying bellsare important part of the Easter traditions. French Catholics believe that on Good Friday, all the church bells in France fly to the Vatican in Rome, carrying with them the grief of those who mourn Jesus' crucifixion on that day. These flying bells return on Easter Sunday morning and bring with them lots of chocolate and eggs. In keeping with the tradition, French church bells do not ring from Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning.

In the UK is traditional to eat warm hot cross buns on Good Friday. Hot Cross Buns with their combination of spicy, sweet and fruity flavours have long been an Easter tradition, with the pastry cross on top of the buns symbolising and reminding Christians of the cross that Jesus was killed on.

Whatever you believe I hope you have a peaceful day.

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