Good Friday is one of the most solemn days of the Christian calendar. It is the day when Christians commemorate Lord Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, which plays an important part in the Christian faith. It is the pinnacle of the Holy Week as all Christians observe this day with great humility and reverence.
With Jordan marking a lockdown on Fridays to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the Jordanian government has reaffirmed that prayers in churches should be held in line with the health protocols in place during the partial and total pandemic lockdowns. Furthermore, the Council of Ministers approved allowing Muslim worshipers for one hour to perform Friday prayers on foot, and that the same procedure and duration applies to Christians observing Good Friday.
Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader had earlier pointed out the necessity to open Churches on Good Friday to Christian worshipers, noting that Christians were prevented from participating in Good Friday rites last year which was confined to live-streaming.
In a statement to Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, he said, “Good Friday is a very central and important day in religious rites and Christian life throughout the year. He added, “Christians were denied these prayers last year, but today the situation is different, so it is very important for them to go to prayer.”
Fr. Bader pointed out that it is difficult to go to churches on foot because there are no churches in every quarter, yet allowing people to go on foot to attend Holy Masses enables the faithful who live near churches to attend payers. It will be a symbolic presence, as Good Friday rites will be live-streamed.
He continued that “people in all regions of the world have suffered from the Corona pandemic and the loss of life. There is grief in homes and anxiety for the future, so the true believers go to prayer in the company of others hoping to find spiritual and divine consolation from God, the Merciful.”
He added that it is also logical to open churches on Sundays, since we are about to celebrate Palm Sunday, which has a special splendor, as well as Easter Sunday which is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.
By Munir Bayouk