Good Friday is considered the most sorrowful day for Christians. This year it falls on April 17th.
Good Friday service is imbued with the spirit of sacrificial love and boundless mercy for the human race. At matins, the 12 Gospels of the Holy Passion of Christ are being read, and at vespers the shroud is carried out and the Canon is sung about the crucifixion of the Lord and "To the Cry of the Most Holy Theotokos.
"What is the shroud?
The Shroud is a large piece of fabric with the Lord Jesus Christ lying in the tomb is depicted in his full height. After carrying out the shroud shall be mounted high in the center of the church. It is customary to anoint it with incense and decorate it with flowers in memory of how the myrrh-bearing women anointed the body of the buried Christ.
What is forbidden?
On Good Friday, it is generally recommended to abstain from food until the time comes for the removal of the shroud. After this action, it is allowed to eat bread and drink water, but no more. All Easter preparations should be completed the day earlier, that is, on Clean Thursday, and Friday is dedicated to service and prayers.
You can not do household chores, sewing, knitting, cleaning. The church calls neglecting of these restrictions a sinful act. You can’t sing songs, walk, indulge oneself in fun. According to the legend, the one who will have fun will be sad throughout the next year.
Traditions and Beliefs
In past times, many traditions and beliefs were associated with this day. For example, the rich gave a festive pastry to their poor neighbors, food: dairy products, eggs.
On Good Friday, the blacksmiths did not forge nails and did not make hammers, because these objects brought a lot of bodily suffering to the Savior. There was also a taboo on driving iron objects into the ground that day. It was believed that by sticking a shovel or rake in the soil, one can draw trouble. One can’t work in the garden because the plants planted on Good Friday die. The only exception is parsley.
It was believed that if you wash the laundry and hang it on the street, then bloody spots may appear on it.
It was believed that the bread baked on this day will not mold and heal from all diseases. Before such work, it is necessary to say the prayer “Our Father” and ask the Lord for a blessing.
There is also a popular belief for mothers: on this day, you can excommunicate the baby from breastfeeding - such a baby should be healthy and strong.