What Do People Do on Good Friday

Discover the various traditions and practices people engage in on Good Friday, from attending church services to participating in processions and reflecting through meditation.


Good Friday is a significant day for Christians around the world as it commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. People observe this day with various traditions and practices, reflecting on the sacrifice made by Jesus.

Attend Church Services

One common practice on Good Friday is attending church services. Many churches hold special services to mark the occasion, including readings from the Bible, prayers, and hymns.

Fast and Abstain

Some Christians choose to fast on Good Friday, abstaining from meat and other indulgences as a way of showing solidarity with Jesus’ suffering on the cross.

Participate in Processions

In some countries, there are processions on Good Friday where people walk through the streets carrying crosses or statues of Jesus. These processions are often somber and reflective, with participants praying and singing hymns.

Watch Passion Plays

Passion plays, which depict the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, are often performed on Good Friday. These dramatic reenactments are a way for people to visually experience the story of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Reflect and Meditate

Many people use Good Friday as a day of reflection and meditation. They may spend time in prayer, read the Bible, or participate in other spiritual practices to contemplate the significance of Jesus’ death.

Volunteer and Help Others

Some people choose to spend Good Friday helping others through volunteer work or acts of kindness. This can include serving meals at shelters, visiting the sick or elderly, or donating to charity.

Examples of Good Friday Traditions

  • In the Philippines, some people practice self-flagellation as a way of showing penance on Good Friday
  • In Spain, elaborate processions with hooded figures called ‘penitentes’ are a common sight on Good Friday
  • In Italy, the pope leads a procession to the Colosseum in Rome where the Stations of the Cross are reenacted

Statistics and Observances

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 56% of Americans say they plan to attend church on Good Friday. In the UK, many businesses close early or have reduced hours on Good Friday to observe the holiday.


Good Friday is a solemn and meaningful day for Christians worldwide. Whether it’s attending church services, fasting, or participating in processions, people find different ways to honor the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on this day.

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