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Why Good Friday is “good”

Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, which is the Friday before Easter Sunday. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was flogged and abused in other ways en route to his crucifixion, which ultimately ended with his death. So why would such a day ever be commemorated with the word “good”?

There are different theories as to how the word “good” came to be used in connection with the day that commemorates the crucifixion of Christ. In a 2014 article for the BBC, a senior editor with the Oxford English Dictionary, Fiona MacPherson, noted that the adjective “good” has traditionally been used to designate day or season in which religious observance is held. So in that context, “good” is not used in the way many people use it today.

According to, the word “good” might be the result of an older name once used to commemorate Good Friday, which Christians believe is one of the holiest days of the year. notes that Good Friday was once referred to as “God’s Friday.” That name, the theory suggests, gradually evolved into “Good Friday.”

Many practicing Christians do not question the name Good Friday, feeling that the day, while one of solemn commemoration, also marks the beginning of the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, a celebration that culminates two days later on Easter Sunday.

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