Growing up, my extended family always celebrated Easter on this day, Good Friday. The intention was solid – get all the grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins together on an alternate day so as to free up the actual holiday for the immediate families to fight…err, bond.
The practice always confused me, however.
In the Catholic Church (and essentially all Christian denominations), Good Friday is a tough one – a commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus. It is a somber day, a day of fasting and prayer and introspection. Service that day is dark and quiet and even more guilt-filled than a usual day of observation. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. :) The act of celebrating with family always seemed to stand in competition with the observance of Good Friday.
But alas, here we are – Good Friday, April 6, 2012 – and I am faced with a double-dose of confliction.
How can I fully embrace this day of encased-meat gluttony and merriment to excess within the context of the death of my Savior? Within the context of culinary abstinence?
You mean I have to pass on the Cactus League Nachos? I’ve gotta have just plain old nachos? No chicken…no beef on that? What’s the point? No hotdogs, no brats, no wingy saucy goodness? Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, indeed. Though truthfully, don’t buy me anything. It’s Good Friday. Not only am I reminded that I am not to feed my body beyond that which I need to minimally sustain myself this day, I certainly do not deserve to be treated.
I want to do right by both observances today, but I’m not sure how. Fellow Catholics, help a brother out. How can a guy responsibly pay homage to each landmark of the calendar?