Dates and Origins of Good Friday

Palm Cross for Good Friday
Palm Cross for Good Friday
(Jeremy Segrott / CC-by)

Good Friday Dates in 2017, 2018 and 2019

Good Friday is celebrated at the following dates:

  • Friday, April 14th 2017
  • Friday, March 30th 2018
  • Friday, April 19th 2019

Good Friday is celebrated on the Friday before easter Sunday. Good Friday sometimes coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover1.

Origin

Good Friday is a Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ at Calvary2. According to the bible, Judas Iscariot led the roman Temple Guards into the Garden of Gethsemane, where they arrested Jesus3. Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver for his betrayal of Jesus, whom he identified by kissing him5. Jesus was interrogated at the house of Annas and later sent to Caiaphas, the high preist3. Several witnesses testified against him without any accord as another disciple, Peter, denied Jesus three times while waiting in the Courtyard3. Both the betrayal by Judas and Peter's Denial were predicted by Jesus the previous night according to the Gospel3.

The next morning, Jesus was brought before the roman governor, Pontius Pilate under charges of opposing taxes to Cesar, treason and making himself king of the jews3. In an attempt to absolve himself of responsibility for the fate of Jesus, Pilate allowed Jesus to be tried according to Jewish law4, then according to the Laws of Galilee6, his place of birth. Jewish leaders could not carry out a sentence of death according to Roman law and Herod, king of Galilee, questioned Jesus to no avail456. He sent Jesus back to Pilate, who had Jesus flogged and released7. The crowd awaiting Jesus released Barabbas, a convicted murderer, instead of Jesus8. New charges were brought against Jesus by the high priests for claiming to be the son of god9.

Filled with dread and forewarned to absolve himself of all guilt, Pilate declared the innocence of Jesus and washed his hands to symbolize that he had no part in the condemnation3. In order to stave off a riot and to keep his job as governer, Pilate handed Jesus over to the crowd to be crucified3. For six hours Jesus suffered on the cross, and between 12 and 3 PM a crucifixion darkness covered the land, tombs split open, and the temple curtains were split from top to bottom, indicating that the Jewish people could now speak directly with god instead of through the high priests1011. during these last few hours, Jesus cried to the skies "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?10"

Celebration

Good Friday is not a federal holiday though it is an official state holiday in 13 states2. This means that certain state and local government offices are closed as well as many public schools and universities. Federally regulated banks and the post office remains open, whereas some governmental bodies are closed on this day under the generic name of spring holiday2. Most retailers remain open though some may close early12. For Christians, it is an important day to be in church.

Celebrations

Thursday 10 August Week 32 | Laurence OWaning Gibbous

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