The Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as acts of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus suffered during his Passion on Good Friday. These Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ do not involve a petition for a beneficiary, but aim to "repair the sins" against Jesus. Some such prayers are provided in the Raccolta Catholic prayer book (approved by a Decree of 1854, and published by the Holy See in 1898) which also includes prayers as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary.
The vestments used are red (more commonly) or black (more traditionally). Before 1970, vestments were black except for the Communion part of the rite when violet was used. Before the reforms of the Holy Week Liturgies in 1955, black was used throughout. Before the 1955 Holy Week Reforms, Holy Communion was not distributed to the faithful on Good Friday. If a bishop or abbot celebrates, he wears a plain mitre (mitra simplex).
In Latin, the name used by the Catholic Church until 1955 was Feria sexta in Parasceve ("Friday of Preparation [for the Sabbath]"). In the 1955 reform of Holy Week, it was renamed Feria sexta in Passione et Morte Domini ("Friday of the Passion and Death of the Lord"), and in the new rite introduced in 1970, shortened to Feria sexta in Passione Domini ("Friday of the Passion of the Lord").
In Hong Kong, Good Friday was designated a public holiday in the Holidays Ordinance, 1875. Good Friday continues to be a holiday after the transfer of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997. Government offices, banks, post offices and most offices are closed on Good Friday.
In some governmental contexts Good Friday has been referred to by a generic name such as "spring holiday". In 1999, in the case of Bridenbaugh v. O'Bannon, an Indiana state employee sued the governor for giving state employees Good Friday as a day off. The US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiff, stating that the government could give state employees a paid day off when that day is a religious holiday, including Good Friday, but only so long as the state can provide a valid secular purpose that coincides with the obvious religious purpose of the holiday.
There has traditionally been no horse racing on Good Friday in the UK. However, in 2008, betting shops and stores opened for the first time on this day and in 2014 Lingfield Park and Musselburgh staged the UK's first Good Friday race meetings. The BBC has for many years introduced its 7 am News broadcast on Radio 4 on Good Friday with a verse from Isaac Watts' hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross".
In an online article posted on Catholic News Agency by Alejandro Bermúdez on 31 March 2012, Cuban President Raúl Castro, with the Communist Party and his advisers, decreed that Good Friday that year would be a holiday. This was Castro's response to a request made personally to him by Pope Benedict XVI during the latter's Apostolic Visitation to the island and León, Mexico that month. The move followed the pattern of small advances in Cuba's relations with the Vatican, mirroring Pope John Paul II's success in getting Fidel Castro to declare Christmas Day a holiday. Both Good Friday and Christmas are now annual holidays in Cuba.
Good Friday is a holiday under state and territory laws in all states and territories in Australia. Generally speaking, shops in all Australian states (but not in the two territories of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory) are required to remain closed for the duration of Good Friday, although there are certain shops which are permitted to open and other shops can apply for exemptions. All schools and universities close on Good Friday in Australia, and Good Friday falls within the school holidays in most years in all states and territories except the Northern Territory, although many states now commence their school holidays in early April regardless of Easter. In 2018, for example, when Good Friday fell on 30 March, only Queensland and Victoria had school holidays which coincided with Good Friday. The vast majority of businesses are closed on Good Friday, although many recreational businesses, such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show, open on Good Friday as among non-religious families Good Friday is a popular day to indulge in such activities. In New Zealand, Good Friday is a legal holiday and is a day of mandatory school closure for all New Zealand state and integrated schools. Good Friday is also a restricted trading day in New Zealand, which means that unexempted shops are not permitted to open on this day.