Traditionally speaking, Good Friday for Catholics is a day of fasting and prayer. Once upon a time, fasting meant just that – to fast, to go without food or drink. Over time, the rules governing fasting have changed, mainly for heath reasons. Now fasting is defined as one reduced meal, with two smaller meals that together do no make up a meal. This modified form of fasting is a requirement for all Catholics beginning on their 18th birthday, ending on their 59th year.
Hubby and I are pre-Vatican II Catholics. We remember a much stricter rule. For a long time, we fasted in the purest sense. It was a personal choice rather than a requirement of faith. For us, this true fast was especially important on Good Friday. Our reasoning was that if Christ could suffer as He did for us, the least we could do was go without eating for a day. While our hearts remain committed; the body quite literally cannot tolerate a true fast for health issues. So we do eat, but only once. And what we eat is simple food to nourish the flesh. This year, since we are home together, our meal will be taken at mid-day rather than as an evening meal. So much of this year is different. This separation from the life we once knew brings the meaning of our existence into focus.
The Events of Good Friday
Good Friday was the last day of Jesus’ life on earth before His resurrection. He was betrayed by Judas, as predicted, and denied by Peter, as predicted. His disciples scattered. He was arrested and was placed on trial falsely. He was condemned, beaten, mocked, and required to carry His own cross to the place where He was crucified and died. “The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head.” Though he was offered something to dull the physical pain, Jesus refused. He chose to face the pain of death head on. They stripped Him of His clothes and cast lots for them, fulfilling another prophecy.
Two prisoners were crucified alongside Jesus. One mocked Him, but the other said, “‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:39-43). Amidst the most cruel, unfair, unjust, and painful death a human body could endure, Jesus chose to respond in grace to the criminal beside Him and care for those near Him. “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother’” (John 19:25-27). At noon, Jesus cried out “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” and died.
“It was at about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.” – Luke 23:44-46
Jesus was taken down from the cross, wrapped in linens, and placed in a tomb.
And so our vigil begins.
Humble Vegetable Soup
1 medium Yellow Onion
3 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 Celery Ribs
4 Garlic Cloves
1/3 cup Fresh Parsley
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
7-1/4 cups (4 cans) Chicken Stock
2 (14.5 oz) cans Diced Tomatoes, undrained
2 fresh or dry Bay Leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups frozen cut Green Beans
1-1/4 cups frozen Corn
1 cup frozen Peas
Peel and dice the onion, carrots and potatoes. Set aside. Clean and dice the celery, set aside. Peel and finely mince the garlic, set aside. Rinse, pat dry and finely mince the parsley, set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute 4 minutes then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, and thyme.Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, then add green beans. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are nearly fully tender, about 20 minutes.
Add frozen corn and peas; stir to blend and simmer 5 minutes longer. or until heated through Serve warm.
Basic Bread Machine White Bread
3/4 cup Water
2 cups Bread Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Powdered Milk
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 tablespoon Butter
1 teaspoon Rapid Yeast
Heat water in the microwave to 110 degrees. Pour into the bread machine. Add flour, salt, powdered milk, sugar and soft butter. Add yeast, avoiding the salt. Follow machine directions to kneed, rise and bake.
I set mine for Light finish. It was perfect, nice crust with a soft interior.