Spiritual Formation

10 Ways to Observe Good Friday


photo credit: St. Stephen’s Church, London, England

It’s here.

The weekend we have been waiting for!

This most important celebration on the Christian calendar.

This pinnacle of the liturgical year.

I don’t know what’s been happening in your household, but our kids have been counting down the days. In part, because of Jesus’ Resurrection. In part, because this year Daddy’s birthday happens to fall on exactly Easter Day. And in part, because…of course…candy!

So, we can’t wait for Sunday! And it’s almost here.

But today is Friday. The day we remember that Jesus died.

And not just any death—but a brutal Roman crucifixion on your behalf and mine.

My heart this morning is that our family would sit in that space today—in the sorrowful reality of what it took to make us clean. We understand the power of the Resurrection so much more when we try today to grasp the gravity of the grave.

But what does that look like? What can we do?

Here are 10 things that I think might help our family observe the day. I’d love to hear what you’re doing. Feel free to tell us in the Comments.

1. Wear black.

It’s an easy and visual way to remember throughout the day that, before He could rise, He had to die.

2. Fast.

Even if you haven’t been participating in the tradition of Lent for the past 40 days, you can certainly join in today. Fast from sweets. Fast from coffee. Even fast from all food. Continue until Sunday morning if you can.

3. Read the account of His crucifixion.

Read it silently by yourself, or gather friends or family and read it aloud. You’ll find it in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19.

4. Attend a Good Friday service.

If you don’t attend a church that has a service tonight, find a local congregation that you can visit this evening. I’m sure they will welcome you with open arms. And you will be blessed.

5. Listen to music about the cross.

So many beautiful songs exist that help us recall the sacrifice He made to save us. Put a playlist on repeat and make it the soundtrack of your day.

6. Watch The Passion of the Christ or another movie about Jesus’ life and death.

This website lists 10 movies movie ideas: https://www.thetoptens.com/best-movies-jesus-christ/. Or if your kids are still youngish, like ours, something like this might be more appropriate for them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rr7WEZ1BHo. Whatever you choose to watch, hit pause before He rises again, and watch the finale on Sunday.

7. Keep silent.

We often honor the dead with silence. So turn off the extraneous background noise—the TV, the radio, video games, even the internet (after you finish reading this, of course).

8. Make art.

Spend some of your quiet time creating art as a way to worship. If you have small children, it might look like black construction paper crosses and a paper plate tomb. If you don’t call yourself “artistic,” it might look like nails in a board, wound with string. (We’re going to try that one.) Regardless, use your medium of choice to express your thoughts and feelings about His work on the cross.

9. Take a walk.

Step out of the busyness of your daily routine. Find a local forest preserve or some other place where you can enjoy His presence in nature. We’ll be heading over to Glacial Park.

10. Pray.

While you walk or just wherever you are, spend some time in prayer. Prayers of anguish. Prayers of remorse. Prayers of confession. Prayers of gratitude. If you don’t have the words, turn to the Psalms. And trust the Holy Spirit to intercede.

Have a meaningful Good Friday, friends.

We’ll see you Sunday!

4 thoughts on “10 Ways to Observe Good Friday

  1. A couple of years ago, we walked along a railroad track as a family, looking for the nails used to hold the tracks down. You will find them laying nearby the tracks. They are probably the size of what was hammered into jesus’ hands and feet. I never really thought about that before. Nails were always the small things you hung pictures up with. This visual for us, as a family, brought reality to the kind of death Jesus suffered for us. We have that nail still. It is a part of our Easter decorations, as a very small reminder. We also do a Seder meal as a family on Thursday evening. It has become our most favorite meal of the year. The understanding of the Israelites’ journey and God’s faithfulness to them to the incredible connections to the Last Supper and the true meaning of so many of the symbols of the meal draws us into a deeper understanding of God’s plan. We then reflect on how God has been faithful in our own journeys, individually and as a family. It makes Easter so much more meaningful to each of us. My kids look forward to the traditions we’ve created around Easter. Thanks for posting these ideas Kelly! Happy Celebrating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *