Looking for simple ways to observe Good Friday as a family? Holy Week can usher us into our weekend Easter celebration but not until we pause and reflect on the greatest sacrificial act of all time. An act performed on our behalf, out of the Lord’s deep, deep love for each and every one of us.
Many children, even at a young age, can talk freely about Jesus dying on the cross for their sins. They’ve sung the songs and they’ve colored the pictures. But do their hearts truly grasp what their savior did for them that Good Friday? It may be years before our kids truly understand what Jesus’ did that day (I’m still learning) but we have the privilege of leading them to the cross each year where they can meet with Jesus and learn a little more about his love for them.
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Simple Ways to Observe Good Friday as a Family
Attend a local Good Friday Service. Even if your church doesn’t have one, find a Good Friday service near you to attend as a family. Consider branching out to learn about another denomination’s traditions by visiting a church that observes the holiday differently than you do. TRY THIS: Look for a church with more liturgical roots and expose your children to the beauty of rich traditions they may not get to see on a regular basis.
Share a Passover Meal. Good Friday is a great day to have a Seder dinner together. TRY THIS: Invite another family to join you and use the free downloadable planning kit + symbol cards in this post to share this beautiful and meaningful tradition with friends and neighbors.
Read the Crucifixion Story in a Children’s Bible. Then sit together in silence for a moment to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and how much he must love us to be willing to die in our place. TRY THIS: Even though it might be uncomfortable, take time to answer any questions your children may have about Jesus’ death. We love reading Bible stories in The Jesus Storybook Bible, Jesus Calling Bible Storybook and The Beginner’s Bible. (affiliate links)
Don’t Plan Anything. That’s right. One of the most effective ways to observe Good Friday may be to do nothing at all. The last thing we need is a full schedule to keep us from enjoying time and space to reflect on Jesus’ life and death. TRY THIS: Keep activities and plans to a minimum and simply be together as a family, enjoying one another and the peace you feel because of what Jesus’ did on this sacred day.
Watch What’s In The Bible Volume 10. Follow Jesus’ story with Buck Denver and friends in What’s In The Bible: Jesus is the Good News. You can watch this episode on Jesus’ life and death, right on the JellyTelly app. TRY THIS: Use this episode guide with summaries and talking points to help get a conversation going. (affiliate link)
Take Communion Together. Read about the Last Supper in a children’s Bible then lead your family in a time of remembrance. If you have young children, pray about whether or not they are ready to partake in the sacraments. TRY THIS: If nothing else, allow them to listen and observe as you, your spouse and older children participate.
Read Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin. Spend time reading this beloved tale about the Good King. TRY THIS: Talk with your children about how God’s goodness allowed Jesus to come and die on the cross for our sins, because he loves us so much! (affiliate link)
Fast. Choose something new to give up or make this the last day of your Lenten fast. Discuss your sacrifice as a family and how making room for Jesus by giving something up can help you grow closer to him. TRY THIS: Set aside time praying together as you fast on Good Friday.
Walk Through the Scriptural Way of The Cross. Use our kid-friendly reading and create visual images to go along with each station. This is a powerful way to walk through the Easter story together. TRY THIS: Turn your drawings into a book by binding them together. You can do this year after year and watch your child’s artwork and understanding grow as they do!
No matter what you choose to do (or not do) this Good Friday, I am praying your family connects with Jesus in a new and life-giving way this Easter weekend.
What are some of your favorite, simple ways to observe Good Friday as a family?