Initially called as 'God's Friday', the present aspect is believed to have
emerged in the 10th or 11th century On Good Friday, a cross, stands for the
one on which Jesus was crucified, is revealed in many churches. It is
believed that Jesus rose from his grave on the following Sunday, which is
celebrated as Easter. The rituals for Good Friday start on the leading
Thursday. A feast representing the last supper of Christ is held on Thursday
night. The end of this meal displays the beginning of the fast for Easter.
Good Friday is a day of sincere respect and awe among Goan Catholics.
When does it fall?
Good Friday is a special day celebrated by the Christians. It falls towards
the end of the Holy Week and marks Jesus's resurrection. Good Friday occurs
between the March 20th and April 23rd for the decade (2001 to 2010). The
most popular church of Panaji, the church of Our Lady of Immaculate
Conception, is elegantly decorated and thousands of people gather there to
pay tributes and take part in the events going on in the church.
Origination of The Festivity
Earlier, only Easter Sunday was celebrated as a holy day by the Christian
Church. By the fourth century, each day of the week preceding Easter were
established as holy days including Good Friday. It is believed that "Good"
represents the good gift of salvation brought forth by martyrdom. From the
earliest times the Christians kept every Friday as a feast day. In the
Eastern orthodox Churches, it is known as the "Great Friday".
Innumerable Goan Catholics flock in the Panjim Church of 'Mary Immaculate
Conception' to listen to mass and participate in the Way of the Cross.
During the afternoon sermon, the priests recount the agonies that Jesus
Christ took upon himself for the sake of humanness. The sermons in konkani
language attract a large crowd standing on the threshold are attired in
formal clothes. After the mass, the rood is uncovered before the crowd for
reverence. Panjim attracts the largest crowd in Goa. A large wooden cross
carrying an image of Jesus is taken from the church and moved through the
streets of the town. It is acquitted by the clergymen, while the crowd
abides by two parallel lines in front of and at back of the statue, some
weeping and all with very sedate faces.
The ones who do not participate are free to have a look of the procession
from the roadside. Sober music played by a band accompanies the procession,
which slowly turns its way through the main streets in Panjim before
returning back to the church. The flock and procession occur in every church
in Goa, but the one in Panjim draws the biggest crowd. Hence, Good Friday is
observed as a day of sorrow, grieving and fasting.