“I dwell among my people” Book of Kings II Chapter 4. I am really not a religious person, but I am curious.  I live in a country in which one can find Jews, Christians, Muslims and Druze. All four have different customs and believes. I find it extremely interesting to learn about the various holidays, their origins and current practice. Last week, I have observed two of the most important Christian holidays: Palm Sunday and Good Friday.

I was saddened to learn that the number of parishioners has declined this year due to the political and security issues affecting us all, without differentiating one religion from the other. I photographed in two locations, the third station of the Via Dolorosa and the magnificent Holy Sepulchre church.

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. It is the most solemn day in the Christian calendar. All Christians observe this day with great humility and reverence. As early as the first century, the Church set aside every Friday as a special day of prayer and fasting. It was not until the fourth century, however, that the Church began observing the Friday before Easter as the day associated with the crucifixion of Christ. First called Holy or Great Friday by the Greek Church, the name “Good Friday” was adopted by the Roman Church around the sixth or seventh century.

There are two possible origins for the name “Good Friday”. The name “Gute Freitag” is Germanic in origin and literally means “good” or “holy” Friday. The second possibility is a variation on the name “God’s Friday,” where the word “good” was used to replace the word “God,” which was often viewed as too holy to be spoken aloud. To many Christians, Good Friday is a day of sorrow mingled with joy. It is a time to grieve over the sin of man and to meditate and rejoice upon God’s love in giving His only Son for the redemption of sin.

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