New Delhi, April 18: Good Friday was observed with fasting and prayers in the national capital, Delhi on Friday.
Good Friday marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is observed by devout Christians with prayers and fasts.
Good Friday is observed as a day of prayers, penance and fasting to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Calvary Hills nearly 2,000 years ago.
In Delhi, Christians started their day with fasting and visited churches across the city to offer prayers. Some even fasted for around 40 days before Good Friday in keeping with tradition during the season of Lent.
"This day marks the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the salvation of humankind. Despite being god, he is the perfect example of humanity," Father Dominic Emmanuel, spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Church, told IANS.
26-year-old Wendy Rozario said that the day is significant as it signifies the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ.
Devotees carry holy cross as they participate in a ‘Good Friday' at Thamarasseri in Kozhikode.
Christians take part in Stations of the Cross processions depicting Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion in the final hours before his death, near Ukkadam Sebastian Church on Good Friday in Coimbatore on Friday.
In New Delhi
Christian devotees offer prayers at The Sacred Heart Cathedral on the occasion of Good Friday in New Delhi on Friday.
In New Delhi
A girl child kissing a statue of Jesus Christ on the occasion of Good Friday at The Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi on Friday.
"For 40 days people give up something which they like, including alcohol and non vegetarian food. Today, we fast for the entire day and only break our fast after attending the evening mass," she said.
The community will celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.
In Kerala, Christians observed Good Friday as a day of prayers and penitence shunning all worldly comforts to commemorate the sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Devotees congregated in large numbers in Churches of various denominations across the state where senior prelates led special prayers to mark the day.
In most places, "Stations of the Cross" processions were taken out with devotees bearing wooden crosses depicting the final hours of Jesus from his condemnation to the laying of the body in the tomb after crucifixion on mount Golgotha.
Hundreds of pilgrims carrying heavy wooden crosses trekked to the St Thomas chruch atop the hillock at Malayattoor in Ernakulam district, believed to be have been sanctified by the visit of Apostle St Thomas, who preached Christ's message in India.
Good Friday also marked the most important day of the season of Lent, when the faithful lead a frugal life, shunning all luxury and physical comforts to gain spiritual strength.
Among the key religious ceremonies listed for the day in churches is the "Way of the Cross" - the 14 stations on Christ's Journey to Mount Calvary from Roman governor Pilate's palace are re-enacted with the worshippers moving to each station singing hymns as the story of the betrayal, arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ is narrated by the priest.
The second significant ritual is the customary drinking of "choruka" (a decoction made of bitter gourd juice and vinegar) by all.
When the Good Friday mass reaches its last lap, the priest pours out a spoon of "Choruka".
This symbolises the cry a crucified Jesus made just before he died and how some of those watching took a piece of cloth, dipped it in cheap wine, put it on a piece of stick, lifted it to his mouth and tried to make him drink.
Another important event is the drinking of "kanji" immediately after the mass ends.
Everyone who goes to a church makes it a point to have at least one serving of this gruel.
The Good Friday mass begins around 8 am in the morning and the longest service is in the Orthodox Church where it ends around 2 pm.
Christians account for around a quarter of Kerala's 33 million population.
Mizoram observes 'Good Friday'
Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary, was observed with religious solemnity in Mizoram today.
Catholic Church members took out a procession in Aizawl and other places and held mass to commemorate the sufferings of Christ on the Cross.
Church bells rang all over the state as people went to worship and priests and preachers delivered sermons in churches.
The Presbyterian Church priests also organised Eucharist in many churches across the state.
Good Friday observed in Nagaland
Fasting and special services in churches were held to mark Good Friday today in Christian dominated Nagaland.
A silent march with a cross was taken out signifying Jesus's journey to Calvary for crucifixion.
Arrangements were also being made to celebrate Easter on Sunday with special programmes at the World War-II cemetery in the state capital.
(With agency inputs)