On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. Three times during Holy Week the Passion is read – on Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday.
- The Three Hours. Some churches hold prayer services during the three hours of Christ’s suffering on the Cross. It would be appropriate to observe a period of silence at home, for devotional reading and private prayer (e.g., no radio, television, etc.), especially between the hours of noon and 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
- Each member of the family might choose a particularly unpleasant job which has been put off for a long time – like cleaning the garage or a closet, or scrubbing the bathrooms (we’re sure you can think of something!)- to emphasize the dreariness appropriate to the day.
- Good Friday was thought to be a good day for planting seeds (a reference to the Gospel about the seeds which must be planted in the ground to bear fruit as a metaphor for Christ’s necessary death and His burial on this day) so if the weather permits, this could be a worthwhile activity with children. (Don’t forget to explain the symbolism.)
- With very young children keeping silence during the Three Hours is virtually impossible. You might help them make a miniature Garden of Joseph of Arimathea in the yard. Mother or Father can teach children about the circumstances of Christ’s burial and resurrection from the tomb by telling the the story of Joseph, Christ’s friend who donated the new tomb where Jesus’ body was buried after He was taken down from the Cross. Children can gather small stones, sticks, acorns. etc., for the little garden.
- Older children can be given a drawing or coloring project. Perhaps they could draw one or more of the Stations of the Cross. (See also sections on the Cross and Christ symbols).
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God.Looking at the Cross in prayer helps us to truly see it. Most Christians have crosses in their homes. Many wear a cross around their necks. Some of these are very beautiful, perhaps made of precious metal and embellished with jewels. The beauty of these devotional objects may emphasize the glory and the victory of Our Lord’s Cross; but too often representations of this central symbol of our faith are regarded primarily as decorative, and its true message is lost.
This Good Friday use it to refocus life.