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This Friday (Good Friday, April 22) is a day of sadness to the human kind. Then, why is it called Good Friday?

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closed as general reference by coleopterist, Robusto, Kristina Lopez, RegDwigнt Mar 3 '13 at 2:48

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Friday –  stacker Apr 21 '11 at 7:15
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I don't think this question is for EL&U. Not everyone considers Good Friday a sad day. In fact some Christians argue for its goodness in the literal sense of the word, because Christ's death, even though a sad event, was necessary for all the good things to follow. –  Jimi Oke Apr 21 '11 at 10:35
    
Leave it Jimi Oke. I just asked :) –  Rauf Apr 21 '11 at 11:18
    
Jimi raises a good point though. The premise of your question is wrong if it is not a day of sadness. –  Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Apr 21 '11 at 12:58
    
Plus, @Rauf, it is most certainly not something-or-other "to the human kind." It is a special day - be it good, sad, bad, or whatever - to the adherents of a particular religion to which some of humankind subscribes. –  Alex Apr 21 '11 at 16:16
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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Wikipedia page on Good Friday reports the following:

from the now obsolete senses pious, holy of the word "good."

So, good can be traced back to meaning holy, which then gives more sense to the expression.

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This is all general reference. But what I don't understand is why it has become, de facto, "Good Friday" in that sense, rather than "Holy Friday". What is it about the word "Good" that made it the word of choice at the time, rather than "Holy" or "Pious", for instance? Were these words that interchangeable at the time? Etymological roots in this case leave me unsatisfied. Is there more to this? –  Jim Mar 2 '13 at 19:03
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The obsolete sense of "good" may explain the origin of the name "Good Friday". The fact that the name has endured reflects the view of many Christians that Jesus Christ's death brings great benefits, consistent with the teaching of Jesus himself as recorded in the Bible.

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Interestingly, the day before Good Friday is called Maundy Thursday. Maundy, according to the AHD, is "[f]rom Middle English maunde, ceremony of washing the feet of the poor on this day, from Old French mande, from Latin (novum) mand³tum, (new) commandment (from Jesus's words to the Apostles after washing their feet, John 13:34)." Jesus washed his disciples' feet shortly before he was crucified. He was demonstrating some of the GOOD which would come out of his self-sacrifice on Good Friday; namely, Christian servant-leaders who, like their Master, put others' needs above their own. –  rhetorician Mar 15 '13 at 1:06
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