Is It Proper to Include Holy Communion as a Part of Services on Good Friday?
While it is entirely appropriate to include Holy Communion on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Easter Day, it is by many centuries' tradition that it is not included on Good Friday. As early as the second century, the church observed Good Friday as a day of fasting and penance, a day to remember and commemorate the arrest, trial, suffering, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus. Holy Communion, although it includes mention of these things, is above all a celebration of the Resurrection, an opportunity to experience the promise of a new creation in the risen Christ, and the hope of eternal life. Holy Communion is not mournful. It is not a wake. It is a sacrament of great joy. Thus, on Good Friday, the one day of the church year when we put these things in the background and give prominence to recalling the events of that day, it is most appropriate to not include Holy Communion. This is the practice of the historic and greater ecumenical church.