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Orthodox Good Friday in Canada

Quick Facts

Many Orthodox Christians in Canada remember the events leading up to Jesus Christ's crucifixion on Great Friday.

Local names

NameLanguage
Orthodox Good FridayEnglish
Le Vendredi Saint OrthodoxeFrench
Orthodoxer KarfreitagGerman

Orthodox Good Friday 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Orthodox Good Friday 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015
List of dates for other years

Many Orthodox Christian churches in Canada often observe Good Friday at a later date than the Good Friday date observed by many western churches. Good Friday focuses on Jesus Christ’s death, which is described in the Christian bible. The day is also known as Great Friday, Holy Friday, and Holy and Great Friday.

Good Friday is a time for many Orthodox Christians to remember Jesus' death on the cross.

©iStockphoto.com/Richard Goerg

What do people do?

Great Friday is a strict day of fasting for many Orthodox Christians in Canada.  Some Orthodox churches may have a Good Friday liturgy in the afternoons or evenings and may include processions.   Some priests remove icons of Jesus from crosses and wrap them in linen to reenact ancient burial rites. Some women also wear head coverings during the Holy Friday liturgies. Many families of the Orthodox Christian faith may spend time on Great Friday to decorate Easter eggs as part of the Easter preparations.

Public life

Great Friday is not a federal public holiday in Canada. However parking conditions may be affected near churches where Great Friday liturgies are held, particularly in busy urban areas.

Background

Many Orthodox churches retained the Julian calendar after the Gregorian calendar was introduced in Europe in 1582. Therefore they often follow a different Easter date compared with many western churches. Easter holidays, such as Good Friday, are “moveable feasts” as these dates change according to calendar calculations.

The term orthodox, derived from Greek, means “right teaching” or “right worship”, according to the National Defence and the Canadian Forces.  The eastern Christian churches’ gradual adoption of the term reflects their view of the correctness of their position in doctrinal differences with the Roman Catholic Church.

There are different types of Orthodox churches across Canada. Greek Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox churches spread in Canada as a result of immigration over the years.  Other eastern Orthodox churches include the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. 

Symbols

Many Orthodox Christian families prepare Easter eggs, which are beautifully decorated and often dyed red to symbolize the Jesus Christ’s blood.

About Orthodox Good Friday in other countries

Read more about Orthodox Good Friday.

Orthodox Good Friday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
FriApr 131990Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 51991Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 241992Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 161993Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 291994Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 211995Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 121996Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 251997Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 171998Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 91999Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 282000Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 132001Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriMay 32002Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 252003Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 92004Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 292005Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 212006Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 62007Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 252008Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 172009Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 22010Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 222011Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 132012Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriMay 32013Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 182014Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 102015Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 292016Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 142017Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 62018Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 262019Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 
FriApr 172020Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox 

Related holidays

Other holidays in April 2014 in Canada

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