By Kathy Bolano, Communications Intern
Good Friday is a day of mourning for Christians. This solemn day commemorates the suffering, crucifixion and death of Jesus. This marks not only monumental historical events for Christianity, but also the sacrificial death of Jesus in conjunction with his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Together, these events constitute the heart of the Christian faith. According to Christian doctrine, it is through this sacrificial death that Jesus atoned for the sins of all men.
All around the world, Christians observe this day with fasting, masses, reading from the Gospels and following the Stations of the Cross. Stations of the Cross in its traditional form recount the fourteen scenes depicting Jesus on the day of his crucifixion. These scenes can be marked with an image along a path and the faithful stop at each station for prayers and reflection. In some communities, the Station of the Cross are reenacted. The stations include:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus carries his cross
- Jesus falls for the first time
- Jesus meets his mother
- Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls the second time
- Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
- Jesus falls the third time
- Jesus is stripped of his garments
- Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
- Jesus dies on the cross
- Jesus is taken down from the cross
- Jesus is laid in the tomb
Some places add the Resurrection of Jesus as a 15th Station of the Cross, although it is not traditionally part of the Stations.
We grow through understanding, and the Niagara Foundation mourns with the Christians on their holy day.
[Image via Flickr]