Youth Ministry Illustrations - The History of Hot Cross Buns and Good Friday

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     Youth Ministry
      Illustrations -
     The History of
     Hot Cross Buns
    and Good Friday
      Celebrate the Easter
   tradition associating Hot
     Cross Buns with Good

     Hot Cross Buns were
     traditionally served during the
     Lenten Season, especially on
     Good Friday. Their origins,
     however, like the Easter
     holiday, are a mix of pagan
     and Christian traditions.

     Pagan Origins
     The Saxons worshipped Eostre,
     from which we get our word
     “Easter” as the goddess of
     dawn and spring. At the arrival
     of spring they celebrated a
     month-long festival in
     celebration of the transition
     from Winter to Spring. During
     this festival the Saxons made
     buns to offer the goddess. They
     marked the buns with a simple
     cross, to represent the four
     phases of the moon.

   Christian Reinterpretation
   When the Christians gained a firm
   foothold in Britain, their leaders
   banned the pagan Easter rites. But
   they soon discovered it was more
   effective to give them Christian
   symbolism rather than outright
   eliminate them. In 782 AD, They
   found a way to reinterpret some of
   the Pagan Easter rites into the
   Christian ones held at this same
   time of year. The meaning of the
   cross on the buns was reinterpreted
   to signify the Cross upon which
   Christ was crucified.

   The Christian Easter Tradition
   Some historians date the origin of
   “Hot Cross Buns” as an Easter
   Tradition back to the 12th century.
   In 1361, an Anglican monk named
   Father Thomas Rocliffe, was
   recorded to have made small spiced
   cakes stamped with the sign of the
   cross, to be distributed to the poor
   visiting the monastery at St. Albans
   on Good Friday, known at that time
   as the “Day of the Cross.”. According
   to the scholar Harrowven, the idea
   proved so popular that he made the
   buns every year, carefully keeping
   his bun recipe secret.

  Traditional hot cross buns contain
  flour, milk, sugar, butter, eggs,
  currants and spices such as
  cinnamon and nutmeg. The cross on
  the top may be cut into the bun or
  made out of pastry strips. In
  America, the cross is often fashioned
  out of icing. According to tradition,
  “Hot Cross Buns” were the only food
  allowed to be eaten by the faithful
  on Good Friday. They were made
  from dough that had been kneaded
  for consecrated bread used at Mass
  or Holy Communion, and thus
  represented Christ’s body

  Children’s Sermon
  Serve Hot Cross Buns to your
  Children and youth. While it is
  important to be aware of the pagan
  origins, for most people today, the
  pagan origins have been lost and
  most people now associate “Hot
  Cross Buns” with Good Friday and
  Easter. Keep your focus on the
  Christian Tradition: they were
  originally made by monks from
  Dough that had been consecrated
  for Mass to represent Christ’s body.
  The cross represented the “day of
  the cross” which was the way they
  referred to Good Friday at the time.
  It represented the day that Christ
  died on the cross for our sins.

Easter Collection
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a Youth Easter celebration or Easter Party.
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Easter activity ideas AND MUCH MORE in a
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