Good Friday Symbols and Customs vary with each countries as every country have their own customs. But the most common symbols and customs of Good friday are depicted here. Good Friday is traditionally associated with the color black, a symbol of death, despair, sorrow, and mourning. Good Friday is celebrated and feasting with many traditional games and customs. These are explain in detail Cross, Cock, Crown of Thorns, Hot Cross Buns, Kite-flying, Stations of the Cross, Tre Ore.
Good Friday Symbols and Customs
COCK (Good Friday Symbols)
The cock is a sun symbol and stands for vigilance and resurrection. It became an important Christian image during the Middle Ages, when it began to appear on weathervanes, cathedral towers, and domes.
The cock is good friday symbols of the denial of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. After Jesus had been seized by the servants of the high priest Caiaphas as he was leaving the Garden of Gethsemane, he was brought to the palace, where the council tried to find people who would bear witness against him. Peter was there in the palace while Jesus was being accused. Some of the onlookers recognized him and accused him of being a follower of Christ. But just as Jesus had predicted would happen, Peter declared three times that he did not know the man who had been taken prisoner. When he heard the cock crow a second time, he remembered Jesus’ words: “Verily, I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crows twice, thou shalt deny me thrice”. Peter wept when he realized that he had been unfaithful to his beloved Master.
CROSS (Good Friday Symbols)
Although the cross is even older than the Christian religion, the cross on which Christ died has become a symbol for salvation and redemption through Christianity. It can be seen in many different forms, but the so-called Latin cross (with a longer upright and shorter crossbar) is usually the symbol for the Passion of Christ. Five red marks or jewels are sometimes placed on the face of the cross to represent the five wounds Christ received when He was crucified. When the Latin cross stands on three steps-symbolizing faith, hope, and love.
CROWN OF THRONS (Good Friday Symbols)
The crown of thorns is an emblem of the Passion and the crucifixion of Christ. As described in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 15, verses 16-18, the soldiers into whose hands Jesus was delivered by Pontius Pilate dressed him in purple and placed a crown of thorns on his head. Then, saluting him with mock respect, they cried, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Christ is usually shown wearing the crown of thorns from this moment until he was taken down from the cross.
The way monks wear their hair-shaved on the top and with a short fringe all around-is designed to imitate Jesus’ crown of thorns.
HOT CROSS BUNS (Good Friday Symbols)
The English word “bun” probably came from the Greek boun, which referred to a ceremonial cake of circular or crescent shape, made of flour and honey and offered to the gods.
hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and India. Hot cross buns are served at breakfast on Good Friday morning. The English believe that hanging a hot cross bun in the house on this day offers protection from bad luck in the coming year. It’s not unusual to see Good Friday buns or cakes hanging on a rack or in a wire basket for years, gathering dust and growing black with mold.
KITE FLYING (Good Friday Symbols)
On the island of Bermuda, the custom of flying kites is synonymous with Good Friday. It dates back to the nineteenth century, when a teacher who was having trouble explaining to his students how Jesus ascended into heaven took them to the highest hill on the island and launched a kite bearing an image of Jesus. When he ran out of string, he cut the line and let the kite fly out of sight. Flying kites has been a Good Friday tradition ever since.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS (Good Friday Symbols)
Christ was crucified at Calvary, a place near Jerusalem also known as Golgotha, which means “skull.” His journey there is usually divided into fourteen scenes or “Stations”: (1) Jesus is condemned to death; (2) he receives his cross; (3) he falls the first time under his cross; (4) he meets his Mother; (5) Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross; (6) Veronica wipes Jesus’ face; (7) Jesus falls a second time; (8) he speaks to the women of Jerusalem; (9) he falls a third time; (10) he is stripped of his garments; (11) Jesus is nailed to the cross; (12) he dies on the cross; (13) he is taken down from the cross; and (14) he is laid in the Sepulchre. Although the number of stations was fixed at fourteen in the eighteenth century, five of them have no basis in the Bible’s account of Jesus’ Passion.
The original Stations of the Cross were the sites in Jerusalem and the surrounding area identified with these events. During the time of the Crusades, pilgrims to the Holy Land marked off these sites and, when they returned to their homes in Europe, they erected memorials of these stations in their churches and even their fields. Pictures of the Stations of the Cross can still be seen on the walls of Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches.
The form of worship that takes place at the Stations of the Cross has never been officially determined by any church authority. Sometimes groups of worshippers will pray together at each station and sing hymns as they pass from one station to the next. More often, individuals engage in private prayer and meditation.
TRE ORE (Good Friday Symbols)
The Tre Ore or “Three Hours” service takes place in many Protestant and Catholic churches on Good Friday. The name refers to the last three hours that Jesus hung on the cross, and the service itself is based on the last seven things that Jesus said before he died (also known as the “Seven Last Words”):
1. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. 2. Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. 3. Woman, behold thy son! 4. My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? 5. I thirst. 6. It is finished. 7. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. The Tre Ore service is a devotional service that was first performed by Alonso Mexía, a Jesuit in Peru, after a devastating earthquake struck Lima in 1687. An Anglican priest named A.H. Mackonochie promoted it in England in the nineteenth century, and it eventually became the main Good Friday observance for many evangelical congregations. The words have been set to music by a number of composers, most notably Heinrich Schutz and Charles François Gounod (1855). Brief speeches, hymns, and periods for meditation and prayer are usually interspersed throughout the musical score.
The Tre Ore service is held from noon until 3:00 p.m. to coincide with the period of time during which Jesus actually hung on the cross, which the Gospel of Matthew establishes as falling between the sixth and ninth hours of the day. In modern terms, this would be 12:00-3:00 p.m.
VEIL (Good Friday Symbols)
When Jesus was on his way to be crucified, according to legend, a woman in the crowd named Veronica took pity on him and wiped the sweat from his brow with her veil or handkerchief. Miraculously the cloth retained the likeness of Christ wearing his CROWN OF THORNS .
The veil passed through a series of adventures but finally ended up in Rome, where it has been kept for many centuries in St. Peter’s Church.
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