Friday, April 06, 2012

Why 'GOOD' Friday?

In this "post-Christian" era, many self-professed Christians do not actively commemorate Good Friday, preferring instead to focus on the joy of Easter, and its attendant cultural delights.  Although my regular CBC Radio 2 station eschewed political correctness in favour of playing beautiful classical pieces appropriate to the day, the (no doubt well-intended) host made a mockery of the day near the end of the program when she narrated the story of Wagner's Parsifal, Act 3, supposedly inspired on Good Friday, and quipped that to make it a really good Friday, a bit of joyous music was in order.  Sigh.

In many countries -- even those professing the greatest numbers of practicing Roman Catholics -- Good Friday is not a holiday.  In Canada it is, but I venture that nowadays most people use it as just another reason to sleep in or to shop, to take in a movie, or to rush out to pick up that last minute chocolate bunny for Easter morning.  I would opine that most Canadians have no idea why this holiday is "celebrated", or what it means -- unless, as on CBC News, they hear the announcer explain that this is the day observed as that on which Jesus, the Christ, was crucified.

Come again?! People are "celebrating" an execution?  Calling it "good"?


Rather, as Reverend Ken Collins explains, "Good" is a corruption of the language that has occurred over time.  In the German, the translation comes from karfreitag, a combination of kar (cares and woes) and mourning.

"Good" Friday might also once have been "God's" Friday.  A holy day.  (Just like "Good-bye" originates in the phrase, "God Be With Ye")

Finally, Rev. Collins states he rather likes the idea that the "Good" reflects the notion that out of the greatest tragedy (the execution and death of the Son of God) there came the greatest good (the salvation of the world and the overcoming of death in His Resurrection).

Tony Campolo is fond of saying, "Friday's here -- but Sunday's coming!"

Without Good Friday, though, there would be no Easter Sunday.

It all happens because of the Cross.  And that, my friends, is the Goodness of God poured out in Love for all the World.  Good Friday, indeed.


Deborah said...

I attended a moving service this morning and now capped off the day with your blog. Thank you. And yes, Sunday is coming.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Beutiful explanation. Thank God that Sunday is coming!