Roman Catholics and Christians from around the world have joined together to celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ with prayers and processions on Good Friday.
Good Friday, a holy day which is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday, in Christianity is a commemoration the suffering that led to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Easter. Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday. For the Eastern Orthodox churches, Good Friday falls on May 3.
The Holy Day is observed primarily by Christians, who remember the death of Jesus Christ at Calvary.
In Vatican City, the newly-elected Pope Francis will recite Christ’s story in a Good Friday service at St. Peter's Basilica. After, Pope Francis will make his way to Rome to the Colosseum where he will lead the Way of the Cross ceremony in a candlelit procession, marking the new head of the Catholic church’s first Good Friday celebration. However, there will be no mass for Good Friday at the Vatican. On Maundy Thursday, also called Holy Thursday, the pontiff washed the feet of 12 prisoners as an act of humility.
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Hundreds of Christians gathered in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, hosting up and nailing themselves to wood crosses while chanting and praying, The Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, revelers drew crows when they marked the holiday by re-enacting the crucifixion, Reuters reported. As many as two dozen people nailed themselves to crosses, beat themselves or carried the wooden crosses as onlookers gazed in San Pedro Cutud town, Pampanga province, north of Manila. Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said the gruesome display of celebrating in this manner is folk Catholicism but accepted.
“We are in no position to suppress them,” he told Reuters.
“I do not think it is right to close our doors to them just because they are more attracted to these folk practices than to our Roman liturgy which they may find too foreign or cerebral.”
House painter Ruben Inaje has been playing the role of Christ in the demonstration for 27 years and says he continues to do it every year despite mixed feelings.
“We do this because of our faith not because we’re paid,” he told Reuters. “Two years ago, I said it would be the last time I’d do it. But every time I say that, my wife gets sick. I guess God wants me to continue this sacrifice as a lifetime vow.”
Many of those who practice the re-enactment on Good Friday are “seeking forgiveness, a cure for illness and the fulfillment of other wishes,” Reuters reported.