St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Friday, April 7, 2023
Good Friday 12 noon
Good Friday really is a GOOD Friday.
Too often we have remembered the death of Jesus as if it were a tragedy – or a sorrowful event. Of course it was when the crucifixion occurred. Nobody knew the end of the story yet. All anybody knew was that their friend and teacher and Lord was dead. Betrayed by their friend. Killed by the Romans. Crucified. But for the Church in the earliest days, the cross was the sign of victory! The resurrection confirmed it, but looking back they saw that the cross itself was evidence of the great victory of the Lord over death. Jesus demonstrated that by letting death take him, death was shown to be powerless against Life…
This is one of the Good Friday prayers –See the emphasis:
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably upon your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know, that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
And see this hymn – Hymn 165 by Venantius Honorius Fortunatus (540-600)
Sing my tongue, the glorious battle;
of the mighty conflict sing; tell the triumph of the victim,
to his cross thy tribute bring. Jesus Christ the world’s Redeemer, from that cross now reigns as King.
Faithful cross! above all other, one and only noble tree! None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peer may be; sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest weight is hung on thee.
The Good Friday service will be at NOON only.
It includes readings from Isaiah and Hebrews as well as the Passion Gospel. We will pray the Solemn Collects together, participate in the veneration of the cross, and share Communion – which was saved from last night’s Eucharist.
Of course eggs are traditional at Easter – symbols of the new life from what looks like a tomb.
You can use any premade dyes, of course, but you might want to try this if you never have.
Hot Cross Buns
From Poor Robin’s Almanack (1733) “Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns.”
Easter, in those older days, included Friday -The victorious cross of Jesus was celebrated by eating sweet buns with a cross cut into them or added with frosting.
Here’s an easy recipe. You can make them for today, or for Easter dinner.
1/2 cup raisins + 1 cup of boiling hot water.
3/4 cup very warm milk, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup.
1/22 cup white sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 large eggs well beaten
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
(for the egg wash later – 1 egg well beaten with 1 tsp water for the glaze 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 2 1/2 tsp milk)
1) Put the raisins in boiling water let then sit 10 minutes to soften, then drain.
2) Combine 1/4 cup warm milk with 1/2 tsp sugar and sprinkle 3/4 tsp yeast over the top – stir – leave alone until bubbly – (10 minutes)
3) Then combine 1/2 cup very warm milk with 1/2 cup sugar, 4 TBSP very soft butter. Stir until butter is melted. Add two well beaten eggs and yeast mixture. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg.
4) Slowly add flour a cup at a time – Then knead 8-12 minutes – Use just enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands.
5) Add drained raisins – dry with paper towels if they seem too wet
6) Put dough in a buttered bowl and let rise for 1 1/2 hours – covered.
7) When double in size put out on a floured surface, cut in half, then again and again – until you have 12 equal size pieces.
8) Roll dough into balls, and transfer to a buttered 9×13 baking dish.
9) Cover with a tea towel and let them rise about 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 375. Brush tops with egg wash and bake 15-1 minutes until tops are brown. Let then cool in the pan.
When rolls are barely warm, NOT HOT, mix the powdered sugar and milk – transfer to a Ziploc bag. Cut off a corner of the bag and pipe a cross over each of the buns
The Paschal/ Passover/Easter candle
Today is also a good day to make your own Easter candle. Use any white candle you have, but fatter ones are easier to decorate. You can use colored wax, or even acrylic paint, tissue paper glued on – or anything else you can imagine. Make it beautiful! You might light it at dinner during Easter week – and then every Sunday until Pentecost.