"Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday" —Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Pic: screenshot provided by author, from Twitter
Though Good Friday isn't a Federal Holiday, Many Businesses are Closed
New York City — There's a running joke about New York City that asks, "Why couldn't the baby Jesus be born in New York?” The answer is "because they couldn't find 3 wise men or a virgin.”
For years most of the country has viewed NYC as a godless metropolis — a land of hedonism. Ah, but so far as people lie . . . numbers don't, apparently the numbers say:
An estimated 6.8 million New Yorkers — or more than 83 percent of the population — were identified as being affiliated with some organized religion in 2000.
Make no mistake about it, at the core: the Big Apple is a religious city! And because roughly 60 percent of the city's religious composition is Christian, it's safe to say: the sacred Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus is a big deal for New Yorkers.
So far as the word holiday stems from the original root 'holy + day', though not government-sanctioned, around the city many are treating today as Holy Friday. Perhaps this explains why the New York Stock Exchange honors today as a holiday.
Some have even suggested superstition plays a tiny role in shutting down the NYSE, along with Nasdaq, early on Black Friday. (The moniker is due to Christ's death at Calvary.) Just as there's no 13th floor in many NYC buildings, memories of the infamous Black Friday stock market crash still lingers. Apparently.
Many businesses around the city will also be closed today, a decision that primarily rests with individual business owners. Also, alternate-side parking rules will be suspended for Good Friday and Saturday, too. As for public transportation, subways and buses will run on their normal Friday schedules.
Last but not least, not even Good Friday itself is spared from having to adjust to the pandemic.
Around the city each year on Good Friday, from Broadway St. to the Brooklyn Bridge, thousands of Christians have taken part in the annual Way of the Cross procession. It's truly among the city's time-honored traditions. Unfortunately this year, the procession of worshippers over the Brooklyn Bridge "will not take place on April 2 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," according to the latest report.
(Whereas thousands of Christians would usually flood the Brooklyn Bridge for the annual Way of the Cross procession, today the pandemic will leave the bridge looking like a ghost town. Pic: screenshot provided by author, from Twitter)
Despite complications due to coronavirus restrictions, St. Patrick's Cathedral and other cathedrals across the city still intend to host the annual Stations of the Cross.
In Brooklyn, known as the “Borough of Churches,” churches such as the Brooklyn Tabernacle will host special online presentations this evening.
In short, though it appears the pandemic will pose a few obstacles for Good Friday this year, as that old saying goes — the show must go on.