Boat docking at marker of Sunken Cemetery, Camiguin

Why is it called Good Friday (and Maundy Thursday, Black Saturday, Easter Sunday)?

During today’s breakfast, we suddenly found ourselves discussing what’s good in “Good Friday” when this is the day that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross. The same question could be asked of the other days of Holy Week. Why does the Holy Week start with a Palm Sunday? Why is it called Maundy Thursday? Why do we call it Black Saturday? What’s the origin of the Easter Sunday? Why do we simply call the rest of the week Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday?

Here’s what we found out. If you think you have a better answer, do let us know through the comment section below.

Good Friday

Stained glass window of Our Lady of Penafrancia Basilica (Naga City)
Stained glass window of Our Lady of Penafrancia Basilica (Naga City). See post: Our Lady of Penafrancia Basilica.

The “good” is used in its sense that means “pious” or “holy” (wikipedia, citing the American Heritage Dictionary and Oxford English Dictionary). Good Friday is a very holy day, when Jesus Christ died on the cross.

Black Saturday

This is referred as Holy Saturday or Easter Saturday in other jurisdictions. In the Philippines, both religious and secular authorities refer (see President’s Proclamation 150, for instance) to the Saturday after Good Friday as Black Saturday. This day commemorates Jesus lying in the tomb until his resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a day of great mourning. Black is a symbol of death and mourning.

Easter Sunday

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated by Christians all over the world on Easter Sunday. The language used in other jurisdictions is similar to Passover — Pascha in Greek, Pesach in Hebrew, Pascua in Spanish, Paques in French. Pascha subsequently came to mean Easter. (

The week leading to Easter Sunday is called the Holy Week.  Unless there is a special designation, the days within the Holy Week is preceded by the word “Holy”, i.e., Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday.

Bonus: Palm Sunday

This day, which is a moveable feast that always falls on the Sunday before Easter, commemorates triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. The people covered Jesus’ path with their garments, tree branches and palm leaves. Covering the path of someone shows that such person is worthy of the highest honor. The palm branch is a symbol of triumph and victory. (wikipedia).

[Please indicate your name, if you’re comfortable with that, as we plan to include the best answer in this main post.]

7 thoughts on “Why is it called Good Friday (and Maundy Thursday, Black Saturday, Easter Sunday)?”

  1. good friday was called good friday because it was the day when Jesus died and had accomplished all that the Father sent Him to do.
    When Jesus died, He shared in what all of us must experience. But far beyond that, He did what none of us can do. He paid the price for our sins that we might be forgiven and have eternal life through faith in Him.

    “It is finished!” was the Lord’s shout of victory because now, through Him, we can escape the power of sin; we can live and be free.

    Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we call the day of His death Good Friday.
    -our daily bread

  2. I feel good because Jesus died and resurrected once for my salvation 2016 years ago. How would you feel? What a good Friday that was. Can a Friday be holy? Like a cross and a table being called santa. As in Santa Cruz and Santa Mesa?
    I hate calling Saturday a black Saturday. A day of death and mourning. Bawal pang gumawa, maligo atb. That Saturday, 2016 years ago must be remembered as a day of triumph. VICTORY! Must be celebrated with joy & gladness with thanksgiving! Only those defeated are in mourning. BTW, who were defeated? If you know the answer, you will never remember Easter with sorrow and mourning. A VERY HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.