Presentazione-via-crucis  

Devotions for Good Friday from Fish Eaters

  • Cover the image of Our Lady in a black veil, placing flowers of mourning before it in her honor.

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  • Pray the Litany of the Passion, Stations of the Cross and the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
  • Draw the curtains, take the phone off the hook, turn off televisions and radios, quiet your environment and yourself, and meditate on what Christ has done for you. At 3:00, "The Hour" He died, the atmosphere should be as if you are standing next to the deathbed of your father who died a moment ago.
  • A relatively recent devotion that begins this day is the praying of the Divine Mercy Novena, which will end on the eve of the Sunday after Easter ("Low Sunday," or "Divine Mercy Sunday").
  • Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten for breakfast on this day, and are about the only luxury afforded in this time of mourning. Legend says that a priest at St. Alban's Abbey in Hertfordshire gave these to the poor on Good Friday beginning in A.D. 1361, and the tradition was born. Below is a recipe for them: 
     

Buns:
1 cup milk
2 TBSP yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, melted, cooled
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs    5 cups flour
1 1/3 cups currants or raisins
1 egg white

Glaze:
1 1/3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1- 2 TBSP milk 

In a small saucepan, heat milk to very warm, but not hot (110°F if using a candy thermometer). Fit an electric mixer with a dough hook. Pour warm milk in the bowl of mixer and sprinkle yeast over. Mix to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes.

With mixer running at low speed, add sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Gradually add flour, dough will be wet and sticky, and continue kneading with dough hook until smooth, about 5 minutes. Detach bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes.

Return bowl to mixer and knead until smooth and elastic, for about 3 more minutes. Add currants or raisins and knead until well mixed. At this point, dough will still be fairly wet and sticky. Shape dough in a ball, place in a buttered dish, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator. Excess moisture will be absorbed by the morning.

Let dough sit at room temperature for about a half-hour. Line a large baking pan (or pans) with parchment paper (you could also lightly grease a baking pan, but parchment works better). Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (in half, half again, etc., etc.). Shape each portion into a ball and place on baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 400° F.

When buns have risen, take a sharp or serrated knife and carefully slash buns with a cross shape all the way across the top (an equilateral Greek Cross). Brush them with egg white and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F, then bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together glaze ingredients, and spoon over buns in the cross pattern made earlier. Serve warm with butter, if possible.

It is customary, because of the Cross on the buns, to kiss them before eating, and to share one of these Hot Cross Buns with someone, reciting these words:

Half for you and half for me,
Between us two shall goodwill be.

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