Catholic Activity: Good Friday in the Home
Mary Reed Newland gives some practical suggestions for reverencing Christ Crucified on Good Friday with your children.
On Good Friday, the family should go about its chores as quietly as possible and in the afternoon observe perhaps an hour "watching" with a simple program of prayer and reading. The discourse of the Mother of the Machabees (II Machabees 7:20-29) gives us a magnificent type of Our Lady under the Cross. St. John the Evangelist (Chapters 18 and 19) gives us the account of the Passion for this day. Also, Psalm 21, prayed by Our Lord on the Cross, can be read by the entire group. The typists in the family might prepare individual copies of this Psalm, and it can be read two verses at a time, starting with the head of the family and reading clockwise.
A quiet diversion for young children on Good Friday is the making of an "Easter garden" showing the hill of Calvary, the three crosses, the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, and the tomb, all constructed in a sandbox, on a favorite hillside, in the family garden plot, or in a small carton.
After the Good Friday services, a simple supper is made dramatic on a bare polished table with burlap place mats (very handsome with their raveled fringe), a centerpiece of bare branches, a spray or two of thorns in a bowl of sand, one candle, and at each place a pretzel — the Lenten bread which dates from the early Church and takes its name from the Latin word for "little arms" crossed in prayer.
Activity Source: Homemade Christians by Mary Reed Newland, George A. Pflaum, Dayton, Ohio, 1964