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Good Friday

Anthony Smith, president of Magdalen College, Oxford, comments on the "Good Friday" question:

"We were given the answer to the Good Friday question at our service yesterday at Magdalen Chapel. English is the only language, apparently, in which Holy Friday is called 'Good'. All other languages use appropriate translations of 'Holy'. In English, as you suggest, the term Good is a version of God, as in 'Good-Bye'. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable takes the same view.

Rosa de Pena says: "Let it be said that in Spain, at least the know that Easter has to do with the death and resurrection of Christ, not bunnies and colored eggs..." Indeed. Some churches here sponsor egg hunts for children in the church grounds. Good kiddie relations, no doubt, but does it teach them the meaning of Holy Week? Perhaps Anthony Smith can tell us if the egg hunt has spread to English churches? Perhaps he can comment also on this: "Egg Saturday. The Saturday before Shrove Thursday, used to be so called, especially in Oxfordshire, because the eating of eggs was was forbidden during Lent", What did the hens do? Stop laying? Spanish anticlericals I knew were grateful to the Pope for allowing them to eat meat during Lent, or was it just on Fridays?

Ronald Hilton - 4/19/03