Good FridayAfter a period of rejoicing over the birth of Christ, His followers observe a time of penance and fasting. This period, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday, is known as Lent. Fasting and other forms of renunciation or self-sacrifice are recommended as so many ways of following the example of Jesus, Who fasted for forty days in the desert, before He began His preaching. Jesus taught the need of prayer and fasting to overcome the Evil One. The practice of austerities has always been considered important in Christian spirituality.
A plank of wood, representing the cross on which Christ was crucified is displayed in churches for the veneration of believers. One by one, they come and kiss it. This is followed by a service from noon to3 o'clock, in which narratives from the four Gospels are read out. Sermons, meditation and prayers form part of the ceremony, in memory of the suffering endured by Jesus Christ for three hours. This is followed by a general communion service at midnight. In some churches, mourners wearing black, move in a procession with an image of Christ, and a ceremonial burial takes place. A day of prayer and penance, the bells of the churches remain silent on Good Friday.
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