In our search of Boulder media we realized no one had explained the current religious holiday season we are in. They reduced it to food, which is a shame because we are in one of the most spiritual times of the year.
Both Christians and Jews celebrate this time of the year. It is Easter for Christians and Passover for Jews. Jesus was a Jew and celebrated passover at his last supper before his crucifixion on Good Friday.. Then there is the question of how do Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists fit in. We try to explain.

Holy Thursday | Easter Sunday

During Lent, we should; live as children of the light, performing actions good, just and true
(see Ep 5:1-9)

O, My people! What have I done to thee that thou shouldst testify against me?

from The Reproaches

Veneration of the Cross – The Reproaches
Good Friday ideas for families
The Cross – The Sign of the Cross – The Crucifix, Crosses and Symbols of Christ

On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Good Friday, in the Adoration of the Cross, in the chanting of the ‘Reproaches’, in the reading of the Passion, and in receiving the pre-consecrated Host, we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord.

The Church – stripped of its ornaments, the altar bare, and with the door of the empty tabernacle standing open – is as if in mourning. In the fourth century the Apostolic Constitutions described this day as a ‘day of mourning, not a day of festive joy,’ and this day was called the ‘Pasch (passage) of the Crucifixion.’

The liturgical observance of this day of Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death evidently has been in existence from the earliest days of the Church. No Mass is celebrated on this day, but the service of Good Friday is called the Mass of the Presanctified because Communion (in the species of bread) which had already been consecrated on Holy Thursday is given to the people .

Traditionally, the organ is silent from Holy Thursday until the Alleluia at the Easter Vigil , as are all bells or other instruments, the only music during this period being unaccompanied chant.

The omission of the prayer of consecration deepens our sense of loss because Mass throughout the year reminds us of the Lord’s triumph over death, the source of our joy and blessing. The desolate quality of the rites of this day reminds us of Christ’s humiliation and suffering during his Passion. We can see that the parts of the Good Friday service correspond to the divisions of Mass:

  • Liturgy of the Word – reading of the Passion.
  • Intercessory prayers for the Church and the entire world, Christian and non-Christian.
  • Veneration of the Cross
  • Communion, or the ‘Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.’

The Veneration of the Cross

In the seventh century, the Church in Rome adopted the practice of Adoration of the Cross from the Church in Jerusalem, where a fragment of wood believed to be the Lord’s cross had been venerated every year on Good Friday since the fourth century. According to tradition, a part of the Holy Cross was discovered by the mother of the emperor Constantine, St. Helen, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. A fifth century account describes this service in Jerusalem. A coffer of gold-plated silver containing the wood of the cross was brought forward. The bishop placed the relic on the a table in the chapel of the Crucifixion and the faithful approached it, touching brow and eyes and lips to the wood as the priest said (as every priest has done ever since): ‘Behold, the Wood of the Cross.’

Adoration or veneration of an image or representation of Christ’s cross does not mean that we are actually adoring the material image, of course, but rather what it represents. In kneeling before the crucifix and kissing it we are paying the highest honor to the our Lord’s cross as the instrument of our salvation. Because the Cross is inseparable from His sacrifice, in reverencing His Cross we are, in effect, adoring Christ. Thus we affirm: ‘We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has Redeemed the World.’

The Reproaches and the Reading of the Passion

The Reproaches (Improperia), are often chanted by a priest during the Good Friday service as the people are venerating the Cross. In this haunting and poignant poem-like chant of very ancient origin, Christ himself ‘reproaches’ us, making us more deeply aware of how our sinfulness and hardness of heart caused such agony for our sinless and loving Savior. A modern translation of the some of the Reproaches, originally in Latin follows:

My people, What have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!
I led you out of Egypt; but you led your Savior to the Cross.
For forty years I led you safely through the desert,
I fed you with manna from heaven,
and brought you to the land of plenty; But you led your Savior to the Cross.
O, My people! What have I done to you that you should testify against me?

Holy God. Holy God. Holy Mighty One. Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.

Three times during Holy Week the Passion is read – on Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. By very ancient tradition, three clergy read the three principal parts from the sanctuary: Jesus (always read by a priest), Narrator, and all the other individual parts. The people also have a role in this – we are those who condemn the Lord to death. Hearing our own voices say ‘Away with Him! Crucify him!’ heightens our consciousness of our complicity by our personal sinfulness in causing His death.

Catholic Commemoration of the Day

By , Guide

April 22 2011 The Friday before Easter Sunday; see When Is Good Friday? for the date of Good Friday this year.

Type of Feast:

Prayers: The Litany of Humility;Prayer Before a Crucifix; Divine Mercy Novena

Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, commemorates the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. No Mass is celebrated on Good Friday; instead, the Church celebrates a special liturgy in which the account of the Passion according to the Gospel of John is read, a series of intercessory prayers (prayers for special intentions) are offered, and the faithful venerate the Cross by coming forward and kissing it. The Good Friday liturgy concludes with the distribution of Holy Communion . Since there was no Mass, Hosts that were reserved from the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday are distributed instead.

Since the date of Good Friday is dependent on the date of Easter , it changes from year to year. (See When Is Easter? for more details.)

Fasting and Abstinence:

Good Friday is a day of strict fasting and abstinence. Catholics who are over the age of 18 and under the age of 60 are required to fast, which means that they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no food in between. Catholics who are over the age of 14 are required to refrain from eating any meat, or any food made with meat, on Good Friday.

Yahoo Answers

Do protestants celebrate lent, shrove Tuesday, ash Wednesday or good Friday?

Most mainline Protestants do-Episcopal, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran. Most Baptist and non-denominational/independent churches do not. I grew up Baptist and am now Evangelical but work for Presbyterians (clear as mud?) and think we miss something in not being involved in the whole story of the liturgical year.When I was growing up Baptist, all of a sudden it was Christmas and then all of a sudden it was Easter without any preamble. I believe in expository preaching but without the guidance of the church year, you miss the heart of the spiritual journey. Of course, to get the complete picture, you also have to be aware of the Jewish festivals as they also reflect the story of God’s people and redemption as well.

What is Pass Over

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. And, by following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that our ancestors gained.

The Story in a Nutshell
After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, G‑d saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed G‑d’s command. G‑d then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.

At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), G‑d visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, G‑d spared the Children of Israel, “passing over” their homes—hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh’s resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, in fact, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way did not have time to rise. Six hundred thousand adult males, plus many more women and children, left Egypt on that day, and began the trek to Mount Sinai and their birth as G‑d’s chosen people.

Click here for the full Passover story.

Passover Observances
Passover is divided into two parts:

The first two days and last two days (the latter commemorating the splitting of the Red Sea) are full-fledged holidays. Holiday candles are lit at night, and kiddush and sumptuous holiday meals are enjoyed on both nights and days. We don’t go to work, drive, write or switch on or off electric devices. We are permitted to cook and to carry outdoors (click here for the details).

The middle four days are called chol hamoed, semi-festive “intermediate days,” when most forms of work are permitted.


To commemorate the unleavened bread that the Israelites ate when they left Egypt, we don’t eat—or even retain in our possession—any chametz from midday of the day before Passover until the conclusion of the holiday. Chametz means leavened grain—any food or drink that contains even a trace of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or their derivatives, and which wasn’t guarded from leavening or fermentation. This includes bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta and most alcoholic beverages. Moreover, almost any processed food or drink can be assumed to be chametz unless certified otherwise.

Ridding our homes of chametz is an intensive process. It involves a full-out spring-cleaning search-and-destroy mission during the weeks before Passover, and culminates with a ceremonial search for chametz on the night before Passover, and then a burning of the chametz ceremony on the morning before the holiday. Chametz that cannot be disposed of can be sold to a non-Jew for the duration of the holiday.

For more on this topic, see Operation Zero Chametz.


Instead of chametz, we eat matzah—flat unleavened bread. It is a mitzvah to partake of matzah on the two Seder nights (see below for more on this), and during the rest of the holiday it is optional.

Click here for more on matzah.


The highlight of Passover is the Seder, observed on each of the first two nights of the holiday. The Seder is a fifteen-step family-oriented tradition and ritual-packed feast.

The focal points of the Seder are:

Eating matzah.
Eating bitter herbs—to commemorate the bitter slavery endured by the Israelites.
Drinking four cups of wine or grape juice—a royal drink to celebrate our newfound freedom.
The recitation of the Haggadah, a liturgy that describes in detail the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The Haggadah is the fulfillment of the biblical obligation to recount to our children the story of the Exodus on the night of Passover.
Visit our Seder Section for guides, insights, tip, and a Global Seder Directory.

Rebirth, Passover and the Arab Spring

April 18th, 2011 by Dean Foster | Discuss This »
I’ll be going to the traditional Passover seder tonight, on the first night of Passover, the Jewish celebration of freedom that has been celebrated now for over 3500 years. The seder (or “order”) recall the story of Jews enslaved in a political system not of their choosing in Egypt, and of their release from this bondage, known as The Exodus. And, as all traditions and ceremonies do, tonight we will retell this ancient story through poetry, song and verse, with special foods (like the matzoh, or unleavened bread, representing the haste in which the Jews had to make their escape). Over the centuries, this holiday has become one of the most beloved in Jewish tradition, not least because it occurs in the home with family and friends, and resonates with the hunger for freedom that each generation, according to the Haggadah (or prayer book used at the Seder), must identify and then struggle to achieve.
It is not coincidental that at the same approximate time each year, Christians celebrate the resurrection, or rebirth, of Christ, and the spirit or Easter, of rebirth in our lives, and in the earth itself (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). Being reborn requires freedom, and freedom is a statement of rebirth itself, for in order to move on, we must be transformed.
Seeing Passover and Easter as different events connected by the same story is a simple, albeit acceptable, understanding of both. After all, Christ was captured as he endeavored to celebrate the Passover seder (the “last supper” was a seder), with his crucifixion and resurrection occurring soon thereafter, insuring that Passover and Easter will always be celebrated at approximately the same time: the Northern spring season.
But it would be a dry and limited reading of the meaning of both holidays if we understood them only through their historical connection; the richer reading sees the theme of freedom and rebirth as the much more powerful thread that binds Passover and Easter together. Freedom, rebirth, release from the past: not a Jewish or Christian theme, but a human one. One that embraces not only Jews and Christians, but Muslims, (and Buddhists, and Hindus, and non-theists, and … ) as well.
This spring, the Arab world has awakened. And the message resonates across all the Maghreb, Levant, and Gulf Arabia: Freedom, rebirth, release from the past. At every level, male and female, young and old, freedom to govern oneself, freedom to achieve, freedom to become. To be reborn anew, to start over again, to look to the future, as determined by oneself, and not by others.
Islam has always talked of these themes too, in its own way, from its own heart, but this spring, the Arab world has added its voice to that of Passover and Easter, imbuing both with greater urgency and legitimacy. It seems that the three great Western religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, this spring all cry out with the same voice: Freedom, rebirth, release from the past.
The Jewish seder ends tonight with the visionary words, “Next year in Jerusalem!” Jerusalem is the universal symbol of the aspirations, hopes and struggles of all three religions; the place where freedom, rebirth and release from the past are achieved. A metaphor, for sure, but if Jews, Christians and Muslims can all share the same dream of freedom, rebirth and release from the past, then why not “Next year in Jerusalem” for everyone?