Good Friday 2018: Why is Good Friday called 'Good'?

Facts about Good Friday, quotes and more

Good Friday
Orthodox Christian worshipers take part in a procession along the Via Dolorosa on Good Friday, during Holy Week in Jerusalem's Old City. Reuters

Good Friday also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday or Easter Friday and is part of the Holy Week celebrated around the world.

"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit...At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life."- Matthew 27:50-54.

It's the fateful day when Jesus Christ was crucified and Christians across the globe are observing Good Friday today to commemorate His death, as part of the Paschal Triduum on Friday preceding Easter Sunday, which celebrates Christ's resurrection. Some countries have their own rituals and in the Philippines, some devotees are nailed to crosses each year to re-enact the crucifixion of Christ.

Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year with its own sets of rituals.

1. Why is Good Friday called 'Good'?

Many wonder why it is called "Good Friday" when the Son of God was mercilessly tortured and killed on that day. Some even send messages wishing 'Good Friday' to their Christian friends not knowing the significance of the day. According to, people believe that it is termed "Good" Friday because of the sacrifice of Christ to save his people.

However, while some scholars say in the Gallican Church in, what would now be France/Germany/Austria, the name Gute Freitag, would mean "good" or "holy" Friday, others say that the original name for the day was "God's Friday".

2. No decorations

Unlike Christmas, many might have seen that Churches, which are always illuminated with candles and bells, are not decorated on this day. Moreover, the altar is kept bare, no Eucharist will be present in the church, and the tabernacle's door remains open.

Good Friday
Spanish legionnaires carry a statue of the Christ of Mena outside a church during a ceremony before they take part in the Mena brotherhood procession during Holy Week in Malaga, southern Spain Reuters

3. Colour code

As it is the day of mourning people are urged to wear black colour clothes.

4. What to eat?

Christians are expected to eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day. No meat to be consumed on today. In Mark's Gospel, it is said that the crucifixion began at 9 am and Christians are expected to maintain a quiet atmosphere, with limited television or outdoor activities.

Good Friday 2016
Catholics around the world will observe Good Friday on 30th March Reuters

5. Non-believers

Some Evangelical Christian groups argue against the observance of Good Friday, as they believe that Good Friday is particularly a Catholic tradition and they observe the Crucifixion on Wednesday, instead.

6. Variations

Good Friday is not a national holiday everywhere. In the United States, Good Friday is not a government holiday at the federal level; however, individual states, counties and municipalities may observe the holiday.

Good Friday
Filipino penitents are seen nailed to the wooden crosses during a Good Friday crucifixion re-enactment. Reuters

To mark Good Friday 2018, IBTimes Singapore has gathered some verses from the Bible and famous personalities:

1. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." –John 3:16-17

2. "And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise." – Mark 10:34

3. "You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified." – Matthew 26.2

4. "Life is a precious gift, but we realize this only when we give it to others." – Pope Francis

5. "Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf in springtime." - Martin Luther

Palm Sunday 2017
A man holds an image of Jesus Christ while surrounded by churchgoer's holding palm fronds during a Palm Sunday mass, marking the start of the Holy Week, outside of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Paranaque city, metro Manila, Philippines. Reuters

6. "By the cross we, too, are crucified with Christ; but alive in Christ. We are no more rebels, but servants; no more servants, but sons!" – Frederic William Farrar

7. "We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive his poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others." – Elisabeth Elliot

8. "Stoning prophets and erecting churches to their memory afterwards has been the way of the world through the ages. Today we worship Christ, but the Christ in the flesh we crucified." - Mahatma Gandhi

9. "No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown." - William Penn

10. "He drained the cup of God's wrath bone dry, leaving not a drop for us to drink." - Richard Allen Bodey