Good Friday 2023
The crucifix does not signify defeat or failure. It reveals to us the Love that overcomes evil and sin.Pope Francis
Table of Contents
- What is Good Friday?
- When is Good Friday in 2022?
- What is the significance of Good Friday?
- Fasting & Abstinence
- Good Friday Service
What is Good Friday?
Good Friday, formally known as the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, recognizes the day of Christ’s crucifixion — the most solemn day of the year for Christians. It is a day for us to turn our gaze to the cross and recognize Christ’s most loving sacrifice for us after dwelling with him through Lent.
As St. Augustine of Hippo wrote,
Is Good Friday part of the Paschal Triduum?
Yes, Good Friday is at the heart of the Paschal Triduum.
- Day 1: dusk on Holy Thursday — dusk on Good Friday (Crucifixion)
- Day 2: dusk on Good Friday — dusk on Holy Saturday (Death)
- Day 3: dusk on Holy Saturday — dusk on Easter Sunday (Resurrection)
Is Good Friday a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation?
No, Good Friday is not a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation. The Church, however, encourages us to recognize Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us and to prepare our hearts for Easter Sunday.
When is Good Friday in 2023?
This year, Good Friday falls on April 7, 2023.
What is the significance of Good Friday?
Good Friday is, above all, the day in which we recognize Christ’s ultimate, loving sacrifice for each of us: His death on the cross.
As St. Paul writes in his second letter to the Corinthians, “And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.” (2 Cor. 5:15)
Like Lent, Catholics recognize this day through fasting, abstinence, and prayer.
Fasting & Abstinence
The Catholic Church obligates its members to fast and abstain from meat on Good Friday.
Fasting allows for one full meal and two smaller meals (that combined do not equal a full meal), with an expectation to abstain from meat on Good Friday. Exemptions are available for those with special physical needs.
Good Friday Service
Although Good Friday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, many Catholics still attend a service on this solemn day.
While this service is similar to a Mass with a liturgy, intercessory prayers, and communion, the Eucharist is never consecrated on Good Friday. (Consecrating the Eucharist is what differentiates the Mass from the service.) The Eucharist is typically consecrated the day before, on Holy Thursday, and then distributed on Good Friday.
Attending a Good Friday service is a profoundly humbling experience. There is no entry procession, no music, the altar is bare, and the tabernacle stands open and empty. Many services also include a Veneration of the Cross, in which we approach the crucifix one-by-one and kiss the feet of Christ.
Read more about the significance of the service from the USCCB.
We turn to Christ in silence during this most solemn day to adore Him. We remember His sacrifice for us. We ask Him for strength and grace. We glorify Him, who has saved us from our sins.
MORE PRAYERS: Lent Prayers for 2023
Also, consider meditating on the last 14 moments of Christ’s Life (Stations of the Cross) and begin the Divine Mercy Novena:
Stations of the Cross
Many Catholics pray the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday at 3:00 p.m. when Christ died on the cross.
Most parishes hold Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent. Services can take place inside or outdoors. If you’re unable to attend in person, consider praying the Stations of the Cross on Hallow with a guide of your choosing.
Divine Mercy Novena
Consider beginning the Divine Mercy Novena on Good Friday. Christ instructed St. Faustina to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet from Good Friday to the Sunday after Easter, “Divine Mercy Sunday.”
You can pray the Stations of the Cross and the Divine Mercy Novena on Hallow. We look forward to praying with you this Good Friday.