April 6th Is Good FridayMarch 28th, 2012 by Craig Mullins
Good Friday is a religious holiday of the Christian faith, commemorating the day of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and his death at Calvary. In the United States, Good Friday occurs during Holy Week, two days before Easter Sunday; the day may coincide with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Good Friday is an important part of the Christian faith, and although it is not a U.S. federal holiday, it is a state holiday in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
While Good Friday is always the Friday before Easter, the date of Easter Sunday changes. So how does one figure out what the date of Good Friday will be every year?
Start with Easter and work backwards.
Easter is the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon, which is the full moon that occurs on or around March 21st. Easter most often falls between March 22nd and April 25th, thus making Good Friday fall between March 20th and April 23rd.
Using details gathered from the Cononical gospels (John 19:42), experts believe the Crucifixion of Jesus occurred on a Friday, and estimate the year to be AD 33.
How Is Good Friday Observed?
In the Church: There are special church services and prayer vigils on Good Friday, as it is a day of mourning and quiet prayer. Crosses, paintings, and statues are often draped in purple, black, or gray cloth and candles are extinguished.
At Home: Many people keep their homes quiet on Good Friday with limited computer radio, and television use, and engage in little or no activity outside of the home. While some see Good Friday as a day of fasting, others observe the day with only a partial fast which includes avoiding meat.
Traditionally, a Good Friday breakfast consists of hot cross buns – spiced rolls that are rounded in shape and have a cross indented on the top. According to Christian lore, the custom originated at St. Alban’s Abbey in 1361, when one of the monks baked them as Good Friday gifts for the poor.
2 c. scalded milk
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 cakes yeast, dissolved in 1/3 c. lukewarm water
8 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg
Pour scalded milk over butter and sugar, stirring to dissolve. Cool to lukewarm. Add the yeast mixture and eggs. Mix well. Gradually add the flour and salt, reserving a small amount of flour to dust raisins. Add spice and floured raisins to the dough and knead in thoroughly. Place in buttered bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured board. Shape dough into 30 buns and place on buttered cookie sheets.
Cover and let rise 30 minutes, then very carefully press the shape of a cross into each bun, using a spatula or the back of a knife. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until buns are browned, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
1 tsp. lemon juice, vanilla or almond extract
Beat egg white until stiff, adding confectioners’ sugar until mixture is thick. Add flavoring. If frosting is to thin, add more confectioners’ sugar.
Fill the bun crosses with the frosting.