Good Friday

Good Friday

There are many ways within the Christian tradition to keep Good Friday. At St James’s nowadays there is a service in the morning with children especially in mind. In the afternoon there is a service centred on the reading of the account of the passion (the crucifixion), the bringing of a plain cross into the bare church, and the giving of holy communion from bread and wine remaining from the service the night before.

Good Friday is the day after Maundy Thursday and two days before Easter Day. Good Friday remembers the day on which Jesus was crucified on a wooden cross. Christians believe that Jesus gave up his life for the good of everyone. It is thought that the name Good Friday is an altered form of God's Friday as it shows God's goodness to sinful people. It is also known as Good Friday because Christians believe that Jesus gave up his life for the good of everyone. It is good because the barrier of sin was broken. It is a sad day and churches never have flowers or decorations on this day.

Good FridayIn the early morning of the first Good Friday, Jesus was arrested and was tried in a mock trial before Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest. After this trial he was condemned to death by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, even though Pilate couldn't find that Jesus had done anything wrong. Roman soldiers took him away and flogged him with whips, forced a crown made of thorns on his head, mocked him as the 'King of the Jews', clothed him in a purple robe, and spat on him.

Jesus was then forced to carry his own cross outside the city to Calvary or Golgotha but the beating had made him so weak that another man, Simon from Cyrene, was pulled from the crowd and made to carry Jesus' cross the rest of the way. At Calvary he was stripped and nailed to the cross between two convicted thieves with a sign above his head saying 'The King of the Jews'.

The soldiers cast lots for his garments and offered him wine mixed with gall to drink, before eventually piercing his side with a spear. After six hours he died and his body was taken down from the cross. Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and after Pilate granted his request, he wrapped Jesus' body in a linen cloth and laid it in a tomb.