Good Friday in Quarantine Time
Coming from a Hindu family, my parents never restricted me to practice religions other than Hinduism. They were secular enough to believe in the peaceful existence of several other religions. I wonder if this makes India unified in diversity. There is a popular curiosity among non-Christians about what is so “good” about Good Friday. I remember when I was in the 4th standard, I wished my class teacher “Happy Good Friday” a day before the Good Friday holiday. My teacher explained to us how despite being a somber day in the history of Christians, the day is remembered as Jesus Christ’s win over the sins of his people which is followed by his win over death on Easter. It’s a popular belief that the name Good Friday happens to come from ‘God’s Friday’. Hence, every year, this holy day is observed on Friday, three days before Easter. The day marks the crucifixion of Jesus after he acknowledged himself as a son of Lord. Three days after his demise, he resurrected (celebrated as Easter). People usually fast, worship and mourn over Christ’s death on this auspicious day. Many followers wear black clothes and maintain silence to portray their melancholy during the hours of Christ’s suffering.
But this year, it’s different! Nobody envisioned the kind of 2020 we are witnessing right now. The world is battling a universal health crisis in the form of COVID-19 commonly known as Coronavirus, which has brought the world to a standstill. Nature works in mysterious ways; therefore, this might be mother nature’s way to heal herself from the mess humans have created , in the form of the Amazon bushfire, melting glaciers, worst air quality, water scarcity, global warming, etc.
The Prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson called for everyone to fast and pray to Lord asking for courage and patience to fight this pandemic. He also marked Good Friday as a perfect day to plead for the revival of our normalized social and economic life. Church members reckon that a sincere prayer and apology for our sin can help in seeking God’s blessings, which is the need of the hour.
Any other year would have accounted for a large number of people celebrating the Holy week by taking off from their work-life but this year, when nations are suffering from this deadly virus with countries like Italy, United States, Spain, Germany being worst affected, we can’t forget the sacrifice Jesus Christ made because he did not sacrifice his life to see his children lose themselves to a virus. We need to come together, and overcome this crisis. And in this, we require strength to be brave enough to deal with the losses we are going through. The spiritual awakening to give a hand to the impoverished and needy who are gravely struck by Coronavirus is essential, so that we can come out of this crisis together.
As India is under a three weeks’ lockdown, I feel fortunate to be able to celebrate this day with my family. With social distancing being the need of the hour, Churches would remain inactive in order to refrain any kind of social gathering. Therefore, no public worship, thus we are expected to carry all sacramental activities behind closed doors. I have already charted out my plan to fete this event by baking a cake and lighting a candle to honour Christ’s molochize. I would implore, asking to protect the world and contain this disaster, simultaneously seeking peace for the deceased souls, who fought this virus courageously till their last breath. Lastly, I would request the readers to follow a few basic steps to slow down the spread of COVID-19-
- Wash or sanitize your hands frequently, more so after touching something or coming from outdoors.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cough and sneeze with your mouth covered.
- Cover your face with a mask or handkerchief when outdoors.
- Leave your house only and when too necessary.
- Maintain 6m-8m distance from people outside.
- Wash everything you bring from outdoors, immediately.
Stay home and stay protected!
Armstrong, Chris. “The Goodness of Good Friday.” Christian History | Learn the History of Christianity & the Church. Christian History, March 30, 2016. https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2008/august/goodness-of-good-friday.html.
“Good Friday.” The Church Times – News, comment, features, book reviews and more. Accessed April 5, 2020. https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2020/9-april/faith/sunday-s-readings/good-friday.
“Good Friday Traditions From Around the World.” 247 Wall St. Accessed April 5, 2020. https://247wallst.com/special-report/2019/04/16/good-friday-traditions-from-around-the-world/.
Monitor, Magazine. “Who, What, Why: Why Is Good Friday Called Good Friday?” BBC News. BBC, April 18, 2014. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27067136.
staff, EastIdahoNews.com. “Church President Announces New Symbol, Calls for Worldwide Good Friday Fast for Relief from COVID-19.” East Idaho News, April 5, 2020. https://www.eastidahonews.com/2020/04/church-president-announces-new-symbol-calls-for-worldwide-good-friday-fast-for-relief-from-covid-19/.