PREPARATION DAY (ἡ Παρασκευή, preparation, provisioning [cf. Matt 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14, 31]). As observed in Judaism, the Day of Preparation immediately preceded the sabbath. The development during the Gr. period of a serious threat to the integrity and existence of the Jewish way of life had led the Sadducees and Pharisees to impose strict conditions upon sabbath observance. According to Josephus (Jos. Antiq. XVI. vi. 2) the people began to make preparations for the sabbath well before the sunset with which the observances actually began, suspending normal business and social activity and preparing all food in advance.
A. Jaubert, La date de la Cène, Calendrier biblique et liturgie chrétienne (1957); J. Jeremias, JTS (1959), X (131-133).