Christian, Jewish faiths celebrating different holy days on same Friday

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It’s an important holy day for both the Christian and Jewish communities, and one of the rare times when Good Friday and Passover fall on the same night.

“Good Friday is the crucifixion of Christ and it is a very spiritual and moving service,” said Joseph Keffer, the music director at Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. “We are building to Christ’s resurrection.”

“You have to have your Good Friday if you want your Easter Sunday. It’s good because he came to earth, taking on our humanity and our sins and in his death, won for us the victory,” Father Craig McHenry said.

At its heart, Good Friday remembers the death of Christ and the tone of the celebrations is solemn.

“By him taking on our sinfulness, and our human weakness and suffering along with us, it expresses his love to us in a way we are able to understand and appreciate. We are very familiar with suffering,” Father McHenry said.

The Jewish community is celebrating another type of victory Friday night. Passover commemorates rising out of slavery in Egypt.

“Passover is a celebration of liberty, for going out of slavery into liberty,” said Gon Erez, with the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation.

The holiday is marked with a special meal and a reminder of Mitzvah — to do a good deed.

“The Mitzvah is on Passover night,” Erez said. “You are not leaving anyone hungry, no matter if its Jewish or non-Jew. If anyone is hungry and in need, you invite them over, you open your house and open your heart.”

In both faiths, the holy day is marked by spending time with family and remembering tradition.

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