Good Friday is a time for Christians to commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice as he was crucified on the cross. Due to the nature of the calendar, it is also a ‘moveable feast’ meaning that its exact date changes each year.
Good Friday & Easter Lego Story
A good introduction to the day is the video below which is a creative recreation of the Easter story using Lego
How is Good Friday Commemorated Today?
Many Church services are held in the afternoon, usually between noon and 3 pm, to remember the hours when Jesus was crucified on the cross.
Some churches observe the day by re-enacting the process of the cross in the rituals of stations of the cross, which depicts the final hours of Jesus’ life. Other churches may participate in Veneration of the Cross, a short ceremony in which Christians kneel before the cross and affirm their faith.
In Jerusalem, Christians follow in Jesus’ footsteps and walk Via Dolorosa, the traditional path that led to the site of the crucifixion. Many who participate try to ritually bear the same weight Jesus did by carrying crosses on their backs.
Though it’s not a public holiday in the Vatican or Italy, the Pope will say a mass at the Vatican before he leads an annual public prayer of the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome. A procession is then made to the Palatine Hill, accompanied by a huge cross covered in burning torches.
Good Friday Traditions in the UK
In the UK, Lent is book-ended by pastries. The start is traditionally marked by making Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, while the end is marked by Hot Cross Buns. These sweet spiced buns with currants or raisins have a cross made from shortcrust pastry and a sticky glaze on top. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross symbolising the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
On Good Friday every year, tens of thousands of Brits gather in Trafalgar Square, London to watch an open-air passion play depicting the crucifixion. The 90-minute production is completely free of charge – a gift to Londoners and visitors.
Good Friday Activities In School
Some schools have already jumped at the opportunity on social media, and they’ve come up with some very creative ideas for activities during the week leading up. Of course, all of these activities are possible to complete both at home as well as in the classroom on Good Friday.
Sun Hats & Wellie Boots have created a simple guide on how to make your own Easter Cross String Art.
St Phillip Howard School had a fun art lesson making some Easter egg art using potato stamps.
CatholicInspired.com have so many blog posts surrounding fun and creative activities that can be done during Holy Week, specifically I picked out their Calvary Paper Plate Craft guide.
Traditional Good Friday Dishes
Good Friday is a solemn, sacred day in the life of a Christian, and when it comes to food, those who do observe Good Friday can take a few different approaches. For many Catholics, Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence. Other observers of Good Friday take the seafood-only route as they do every Friday during Lent, saying no to meat, chicken, and pork. Still others take a vegetarian/meatless approach, forsaking all meat of every kind.
Perhaps the most popular food associated with Easter, boiled eggs are commonly more of a decorative feature, but it is customary to have a hard (or if you prefer it soft) boiled egg for breakfast on the Easter weekend.
A long-standing symbol of fertility and new life, eggs represent the tomb in which Jesus was buried after his crucifixion. It was thought to be empty, but he was brought back to life – symbolised by the egg’s ability to give life to chicks.
Over the years it has become tradition to paint emptied eggs and hang them on trees for decoration. Eggs also take the centre of Easter traditions, such as the Easter egg hunt.
2. Hot cross bun
The cross on top of these fruit buns is a symbol of the crucifixion – which is why they are traditionally eaten on Good Friday.
In Tudor times it’s thought that fruit buns were limited to treats for special occasions – such as Easter – which is why this has become a common base for the cross, which is made with a simple flour and water mixture.
3. Simnel cake
There is some debate about the origins of the Simnel cake. The traditional cake is made with a layer of marzipan in the middle and on top and has 11 marzipan balls to represent the apostles – with Judas left out because of his betrayal.
It is not clear where the word Simnel originates, but this cake is a Lent-time favourite that can also be given as a treat for Mother’s Day – which usually falls in the Lent period.
In some parts of Europe it’s very common to serve soft pretzels in the Lent period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Pretzels are given a religious meaning as the looped bread is seen to symbolise the crossing of arms during prayer. They are also made without egg, butter, milk, meat or cheese – which historically were the common foods people avoided during the Lent period.
We here at Teacher’s Pet have been hard at work to bring you some brand new and amazing resources all to do with celebrating the Easter period. Click here to see all that of our resources relating to Easter.
Below I have picked out a handful of resources in order to help you get started.
Have a great day!
We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for how to take part during Good Friday.
If you have any great teaching ideas for this topic, feel free to comment below (they might even get added into the topic calendar!).