Fun Things To Do This Good Friday
April 19, 2019 is Good Friday, and you’ve probably got the day off anyway, so why not take time to celebrate? This classic Christian holiday falls on the Friday before Easter, marking both the end of Lent and the day of Jesus’ death. Historically, Good Friday was a time for fasting and prayer. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s got to be a somber day. Below are a few ideas for how you and your family can make this holiday one to remember.
Make Hot Cross Buns
Here’s one that’s great to do with the kids! Use ingredients that you already have in your kitchen to make this traditional baked good, eaten on Good Friday in some parts of Europe and Oceania. This delicious treat, both sweet and spiced, is filled with symbolism: the cross on top signifies Jesus’ death, and the spices inside represent the spices used to embalm him at his burial. If you’re baking with kids, take the opportunity to explain both the Christian and Unification view of Jesus’ crucifixion and death.
If you participated in Lent this year by giving up sweets, hot cross buns will be a yummy way to satisfy your post-Lent cravings. Check out a simple recipe here.
Walk the Stations of the Cross
Many Catholic schools and churches will be partaking in this devotional exercise on Good Friday. If you attend this ceremony, you will find 14 stations with images depicting the events leading up to Jesus’ death. Find out more about their meaning here.
The Stations of the Cross are a visual way for kids to learn more about Jesus’ life and legacy. Some churches may even host Passion Plays, or re-enactments of the crucifixion. Beware: these plays are not for the squeamish.
Host an Inter-religious Dinner
Good Friday and Easter often coincide with Passover, a Jewish holiday that marks the Jewish liberation from slavery. Every year on the first night of Passover, Jews host a Seder where families gather to eat and tell the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. (According to the Gospels, Jesus’ last supper was a Passover Seder).
At the same time, Christians commemorate Easter with their own family gathering and dinner. This year, why not combine traditions and invite your neighbors over for a meal which celebrates all walks of life? Food unifies people, and even non-religious Jews and Christians may be excited about the idea of a meal shared among friends. This is a great opportunity for you to ask your neighbors about their religious traditions and share some of your own.
If you could use some help, find Seder recipes here and Easter recipes here. Just make sure you ask your guests about their dietary restrictions beforehand (some Jews keep strict Kosher laws and therefore cannot eat pork) so that there will be dishes everyone can enjoy.
Got any other ideas for what to do on Good Friday? Share them in the comments below!