Good Friday is the second day of the Pascal Triduum. It is a day like no other in the liturgical year. We are called to not just remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but to enter into a communion with his suffering. There are many different ways to celebrate Good Friday.
Celebrate Good Friday through Fasting
For Catholics, Good Friday means a fast day along with abstaining from meat. For some, this alone seems to be a call to suffer. I know that I often seem hungrier on Holy Thursday as if my brain tells my body to ‘stock up’ for the next day.
In the years before kids, this day meant two small snacks for breakfast and lunch time and then a simple soup dinner. My favorite for a simple soup dinner is Lentil Soup paired with a hearty bread like my Irish Brown Bread or even the family favorite of Challah Bread Rolls.
With hungry, growing boys, we’ve moved towards some sort of fish with a starch (e.g. macaroni and cheese) and vegetable. Those of us fasting just eat a smaller portion.
Celebrate Good Friday with Stations of the Cross
This is most definitely a traditional way to mark Good Friday.
In some past years, we’ve attended our parish’s Soup and Stations every Friday night. On Good Friday, the soup portion is removed from the equation.
Instead, you have a choice of walking in a group through the streets of downtown Anchorage in the morning (something I’ve never made happen including this final year here), the regular Stations of the Cross at 3 p.m., or an evening service which includes veneration of The Cross.
While going through the Stations in a larger community is my preference, you can easily do this at home.
For those with young kids, you might like Stations of the Cross for Children at Loyola Press. You can print out pages OR do a multimedia presentation. Alternatively, you can find a printable booklet at Family in Feast and Feria.
Celebrate Good Friday with Prayer
Prayer is a part of every day for many of us. However, today is a great day to dedicate a little extra time to spending time with God.
Good Friday marks the start of the Divine Mercy Novena.
For those who want to obtain an indulgence, you need to receive sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion at Mass either on Saturday or Sunday that weekend, prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff, and take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy.
Celebrate Good Friday with Silence
For some, this may seem to be the hardest thing to do. I remember being convicted to spend an hour in silence from 3 to 4 p.m. in our home. My boys were not as eager for this. I think we lasted about 15 or 20 minutes.
Sometimes I think we struggle with sitting in silence. There is so much noise in our daily lives that the silence is foreign and uncomfortable.
When I have spent time in adoration with nothing but silence I have experienced that uncomfortable tug.
Because there are times when God is trying to speak at me and I’m not sure that I want to hear what He has to say.
Yet, when I do allow the silence to wash over me, I can say that I am better off for it.
So….scheduling silence today is a great way to celebrate Good Friday. Even younger kids can give 10 to 15 minutes of silence at 3 p.m. Just give them something quiet for their hands (e.g. picture books or better yet a children’s Bible with pictures.)
While I do just sit and soak in those whispers from above, I also will spend some of that time reading Scripture.
The readings for Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion are:
PS 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
HEB 4:14-16; 5:7-9
What are some ways you celebrate Good Friday at your house?
Do you seek out a larger community or stay at home?