Hot Cross Buns
Baking hot cross buns on Good Friday is an old custom that has now extended to the whole season of Lent.
Hot cross buns often have raisins or dried fruit to give them some taste, but no sweet filling because Lent is a penitential season.
However, white icing is placed on the top and always in the shape of a cross as a reminder that Easter is coming.
At one time it was believed that the buns had special miraculous powers, and people hung them from their kitchen ceiling to protect their homes from evil. It was also believed that hot cross buns baked on Good Friday would never get moldy.
Hot cross buns are reported to have first appeared on Good Friday in 1361. Fr. Thomas Rockliffe distributed the small cakes, marked by a cross to the poor of St. Albans Abbey.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover? He said, Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, The teacher says, My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples. The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover. (Mt 26:17-19)
In Matthews story it is now Thursday, and the Passover will begin at sunset. Jesus says, My appointed time draws near. Indeed it does. This young and healthy man from Nazareth is less than 24 hours away from death.
Death is like life. Each death is different, and seldom follows the script we would have written. There are many causes and kinds of death accidents, crimes, suicides, lingering illnesses. There is the sad death of a little child or a young parent. There is the bittersweet death of a very old or sick person who has been waiting to die.
The death of Jesus was a sudden death. On Thursday he was a healthy young man. On Friday afternoon he was dead executed as a criminal.
We began Lent with the words, Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
How shall I die? How will my family and friends react?
What will it be like to meet the Lord?
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.