Story Of The Passion Lunch- Symbolic Lunch For Good Friday

I designed this Good Friday scripture lunch to tell the story of the Passion to kids. They receive one food at a time, and each is symbolic to a part of the Easter story. After receiving each item, there is scripture to read that goes with it. You can find all of my holy week food ideas for kids here.

easter story lunch for Good Friday

This is very simple to put together. The most complicated thing is making the crown of thorns, and actually boiling the eggs. Nothing too crazy for a busy mom to pull off. 😉

New Printable Guide Now Available!

You have 3 options for planning your Good Friday symbolic lunch:

  1. The information you need is all available in this post for free, all you need to do is scroll down and start planning!
  2. I now have a printable guide that has all the Scripture and food label cards, which will be super helpful for planning, reading the Scripture, and also decorating the table. You can get the Good Friday Scripture Lunch Guide in the Catholic Icing shop.
  3. If you get my Symbolic Holy Week & Easter Cookbook, this Good Friday Scripture Lunch Guide is included in that cookbook, so you don’t need the individual download! 

The Symbolic Holy Week & Easter Cookbook! This cookbook includes 23 recipes that point to the true meaning of Easter. It also includes 29 pages of bonus printables! You do not want to miss this amazing resource. 

The cookbook comes with printable Scripture that goes with each symbolic food in this Good Friday lunch, and table place card labels to let you know what each symbolic food is representing! It also has a bookmark with all the Scripture verses incase you would like the read the verses from your own Bible. It’s really a beautiful and helpful download, and I am so happy to have it as an addition to this symbolic tea. 

Planning Your Good Friday Scripture Lunch

Shopping List:

  • Olives
  • Peppermint Patties (These are for Judas’ “silver”, so if you want to wrap something else in silver foil, that would work as well.)
  • Hershey’s Kisses (for the “kiss” from Judas) I got the dark chocolate ones because they are purple, the color of Lent.
  • Cheese cubes (we sliced up cheese sticks)
  • Plastic Cocktail Swords (depending on how many boys you have, you might find enough plastic swords among your action figures that you don’t need the cocktail swords, or you can even substitute toothpicks)
  • Eggs (and then hard-boil them)
  • Ritz Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Regular Pretzels
  • Big Pretzel Rods
  • Salt and Vinegar Chips

The meal is also served with a glass of water.

Setting Up Your Good Friday Scripture Lunch

Put each type of food on a different plate, and set them up in the middle of the table like serving dishes, including the glasses of water. Everyone will begin with an empty plate. When it’s time for a certain food, you pass that plate around and everyone takes one of the items. As the plate goes around, you read your kids the scripture that goes with that food. (You’ll be eating when everyone else is finished- lol.)

Before beginning, put 3 bookmaks in your Bible: On in Luke chapter 22, one in John chapter 19, and one in Matthew chapter 27. (I really tried not to skip around too much, but not all the Gospels have all the different parts represented, so this was the best I could do.)

scripture lunch for Good Friday- great for Lent

I used my mom’s large wedding bible to read to the kids as they ate. 

easter story lunch for kids- great for good Friday!

Begin by explaining to everyone that each part of the lunch stands for a piece of our Lord’s Passion, and we’ll receive each item while listening to the scripture. Tell them if they don’t like something, they may quietly (and politely) set it to the side, but not to disrupt the readings for everyone else by making a big deal out of it. Tell them they will receive their water at the appropriate time, and if they are thirsty that it is an extra Good Friday sacrifice to wait patiently for their water. If they receive any food that they have given up for Lent, they may also make the sacrifice of placing it to the side rather than eating it.

Olives– these are symbolic of Jesus’ agony in the garden (at the Mount of Olives). Scripture- Luke 22: 39-46

easter story lunch- agony in the garden

Hershey’s Kiss– this is symbolic of the kiss of Judas. Scripture- Luke 22: 47-48

easter story lunch- judas' kiss

Sword With Cheese– To stand for Jesus’ arrest. You can substitute a toothpick to skewer the cheese cubes if need be. Scripture- Luke 22: 49-54

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easter story lunch- arrest of Jesus

Hard-Boiled Egg– symbolic of Peter’s denial. (Yes, I know that cocks don’t lay eggs, but we can’t eat chicken on Good Friday, and this meal needed a little protein.) Scripture- Luke 22: 55-62

easter story lunch- peter's cock crowing

Silver Peppermint Patty– Judas’ 30 pieces of silver. Scripture- Matthew 27: 3-8

easter story lunch- judas' silver

Ritz cracker with peanut butter and broken pretzel bits around the edge– symbolic of the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head. Scripture- John 19: 1-3

easter story lunch- crown of thorns

Water- for when Pilate washes his hands. Scripture- Matthew 27: 22-25

passion symbols lunch- water for pilate washes his hands

Pretzel Rod Cross– symbolic of the crucifixion. Scripture- John 19: 17- 19

easter story lunch- crucifixion

Salt and Vinegar Chips- for when they offered Jesus vinegar to drink. Scripture- John 19: 28-30

easter story lunch- vinegar

Have a moment of silence after announcing the death of Jesus for everyone to reflect. You can conclude by praying the “Our Father” prayer together as a family. 

Find More Lent and Holy Week Resources for Catholic families here.

scripture lunch to teach the Easter story on Good Friday

Holy Week In Handprints have your kids illustrate the story of

Holy Week from the Bible using handprint illustrations.

holy week in handprints book for kids


You’ll find all of my Lenten resources for kids here


  1. I’m surprised you suggested serving kids candy and chips on Good Friday. I know young kids aren’t required to fast, but I always like to have simple meals.

    • I think if it doesn’t work for you, then don’t do it. I believe the point is to make the story more meaningful and memorable to kids. I personally don’t eat much chocolate, and wouldn’t normally serve it for a meal–but I like the idea of making Good Friday more special instead of a dread. We don’t eat meat on ANY Fridays of the year, so I make those meals special so my kids don’t hate Fridays.

    • Smith Debbie says

      I’m shocked to read a negative reply. Why say anything. Choices

    • Sonia McGarrity says

      I get your point, but can I share my experience. We have been doing this Good Friday Meal since my boys were little. They are now 18, 16, 14 and 13. We are preparing for this meal now. They completely “get” the story of the Pascal Mystery. They choose on their own to fast all lent, and to have very simple meals on Good Friday. This is all we have for this meal as we read the passion story. My 9 year old woke up this morning so excited to have our meal and read the passion. What the Lord wants is hearts that love Him and understand His sacrifice. Planting those seeds young, does reap benefits when they are older, regardless of whether it involves eating a purple herseys kiss or not. Just my experience! A blessed Good Friday to y’all!

  2. This is really clever! Thank you!

  3. Lacy, what a creative way to bring home the story of our Lord’s passion! Thank you for always taking the time to share your wonderful ideas. (And Jen, no thanks for the Phariseeism. Sheesh.)

  4. I love this idea! Kids are not required to fast, so the candy and chips are okay. if it really bothered someone, I bet they could come up with a substitute.

  5. What a brilliant idea! I keep thinking I’ve got Good Friday sorted, and then you bring something else along!

  6. Great idea! I’m totally doing this. And in regard to the comment above, I guess it’s all perception. I thought this lunch looked a little meager & perfect for Good Friday. (My kids might need a few extra swords & eggs though!) 😉

  7. This is a wonderful activity for children. Wish I had this for my catechists for their lessons on Palm Sunday when they taught about Holy Week.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. I love this!!! It’s so creative and fun!

  9. I am so glad to have “rediscovered” your blog today! And I will likely try the unleavened bread. I’ve been wanting to do something reminiscent of Lent (beyond “fish fries” at the church) this week, but needed the simplicity of not recreating a Passover meal.

    Have a blessed Holy Week!

  10. This will be a fantastic lesson plan with built in snack for my second grade religion class this week – thank you!

  11. LOVE! Peanut allergy & chocolate restrictions here. We’ll try to make meringue kisses as a substitute. I have to ponder the thorns (chow mein noodles? baby carrots are sort of pointy?) and the coins (carrot pennies?). Thanks again for a beautiful plan!

    • 808momof3 says

      We used Sunbutter instead of peanut butter and glutino gluten free pretzels and crackers. It was great.

  12. Holy Thursday marks the end of Lent, so anything “given up” is allowable on Good Friday as long as it doesn’t break the rules of fasting and abstinence. Good ideas, though!

  13. Thank you so much – this is great! We have a Special meal on Thursday, but not one on Friday – can’t wait to try it. I don’t think the candy should be cause for alarm – a kiss is a ‘kiss’ for it’s intended symbolism (& just think of how every time you or your kids eat a Hershey kiss – they will think of Good Friday! – also, we can always make another extra sacrifice somewhere along the day). If the Peppermint Patties cause angst, we’re planning on wrapping nilla wafers in tin foil – thought of even doing sliced cucumbers as well. What a wonderful way to teach our children in a simple sweet way, the holiness of the day. They’ll most likely look forward to it every year! Thanks again – God Bless!

    • Cucumbers are a fantastic idea. This is our second year doing it! They were so excited when they found out we are doing it again today! Thank you for this wonderful idea.

  14. Thank you so much – this is great! I don’t think the candy should be cause for alarm – a kiss is a ‘kiss’ for it’s intended symbolism (& just think of how every time you or your kids eat a Hershey kiss – they will think of Good Friday! – also, we can always make another extra sacrifice somewhere along the day). If the Peppermint Patties cause angst, we’re planning on wrapping nilla wafers in tin foil – thought of even doing sliced cucumbers as well. What a wonderful way to teach our children in a simple sweet way, the holiness of the day. They’ll most likely look forward to it every year! Thanks again – God Bless!

  15. This is a very creative way to reach the Passion. However, as someone who manages severe food allergies every day, I would urge caution on the use of peanut butter and eggs.

    • Use “chick peas” or chicken-shaped crackers instead of eggs, and use seed butter instead of peanut butter.

      I think the point here was to give a jumping-off point to creativity, and then adapt as needed.

      We have definite food allergies, too, so I am used to adapting.

  16. I love your creativity! And the rooster came out of an egg, so I think that is perfect! 🙂

  17. I also don’t like to give much junk food to my kids as a rule, but I like the idea of substituting other foods for the candy and chips. My guys are also a bit too young to understand sacrifices, but if my child did give up something for Lent, I imagine it would be more streamlined to substitute a food to focus on the lesson and so they don’t have to go hungry- b/c the Church in her mercy doesn’t ask children to fast.

  18. Even simpler, we make homemade pretzels and pray the stations at home. The older kids make the pretzels and the little kids blow out candles as we complete each station. I try to instill even in the littlest the idea of fasting. Love the symbolism of your meal, but the candy and chips just wouldn’t work in my house for Good Friday.

  19. Tracy Bua Smith says

    We are doing this tomorrow for Good Friday! I gave up sweets so I won’t be eating the sweet stuff, but I’m thinking my kids won’t mind eating the chocolate since most of them didn’t, but should of given up sweets 🙂 I picked up the dark chocolate purple kisses and dark chocolate has sort of a bitter taste just like Judas’ bitter ways. Have a blessed Triduum and Easter Lacy!

  20. My kids loved this today. Thanks!

  21. Tracy Bua Smith says

    Lacy, we just did this and my entire family LOVED it! Here’s my post about our symbolic lunch:

    Thank you so much and have a blessed Easter weekend!

    • Love that you did this, Tracy! Loved your post and your pictures (especially the one of your husband eating one of the chips- lol!) Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  22. We did this today too, although we didn’t have time to do the Scripture part. I explained what each food was for, and it was laid out for the children to help themselves. I didn’t use peanut butter (allergies) but a soft cream cheese instead. Some couldn’t eat eggs either which was my main reason for laying it out.

    They really liked it!

  23. Hannelore says

    Thank you for coming up with this. My children really got a lot out of it, and my oldest asked if we could have more meals that go with Bible verses!

  24. We did this with some friends on Friday and the kids LOVED it! My girls are begging for an EASTER version now…so either you or I have to come up with something 😉 Thank you so much Lacy, you have such a gift for beautiful, creative ideas that are simple & meaningful!

    • What a great idea! I’ll have to think on that. Luckily we have until Pentecost to come up with it. 😉

  25. I love that you set the plate to look like a Seder offering. I didn’t read through all of the comments so I hope I am not being redundant. I believe this activity, if introduced at an early age and then repeated every year, will lead to a stronger understanding of the true meaning of Holy Week. Again, I love this!

  26. A friend and I have done this with our kids a few years now, and the kids really enjoy it and expect it as a family tradition. A few other ideas we do: we cook up a California vegetable mix and divide as follows: carrots are wrapped in little pieces of foil to become Judas’ silver, the broccoli “trees” are in the garden of Gethsemane (my kids don’t like olives at all), and the cauliflower stands in for the clouds of heaven. Mozzarella cheese sticks work for the arrest of Jesus. We have sometimes used a bird-shaped (technically a turkey!) cookie cutter on a piece of bread for Peter’s denial. I also like to use some of their kid bibles and let them take turns reading. I have really enjoyed this idea, and appreciate the layout of it all (even though we changed a fair amount to match our family). Thank you!

    • This year (not making it out to find kisses) I used a chocolate chip. I told the kids it was a mini-kiss and asked “How much love was in the kiss from Judas?” I may stick with this because they really understood it.

  27. Any ideas what I could add to represent the empty tomb?

    • Hi Natalie,
      You could make Marshmallow Puffs (with or without your kiddos) and they could represent the empty tomb.
      Happy Easter!

    • Look up Resurrection biscuits, we do them for dessert on Easter. Basically wrap a biscuit around a marshmallow and then bake. When they come out of the oven the marshmallow has melted and the biscuit tomb is “empty.”

    • Maybe a plain ice cream cone? It’s empty like the tomb, and a cone without filling is “useless” like the tomb without a body. My kids love eating cones just for fun 🙂

  28. I planned, prepared, and executed this special Good Friday Lunch Jesus Time as we called it today with my children and a friends children also. The only substitution I did was to make small egg salad sandwiches instead of the egg.
    What a simple, fun, effective devotion for our children!!
    Thank you for the great idea!!

  29. Jeanmarie says

    We did this with our kiddos (ages 6 and 3), and it went great. They were engaged in the story in a way that is rare for little kids. For those concerned about treat foods on Good Friday, it doesn’t make for a huge meal. (And, for me at least, eating these types of foods is definitely a sacrifice – not what I typically buy or enjoy eating.). This will be our new tradition for Good Friday!

  30. This is amazing!!! You are so creative.

  31. This is fabulous! Plan to use for my Good Friday activity with elementary kids at church while parents at service. Not being Catholic we do not have meat restrictions so will use chicken nuggets for the cock. I do have a kid with peanut allergies so will use sun butter. Thank you!

  32. We eat a strawberry with a toothpick and read about how Jesus was pierced with a lance, ….then while drinking grape juice diluted with water, we read about how from Christ’s side flower blood and water. With strawberries, we have also read about Mary, how a sword pierced her heart.

  33. Too many treats for a fast day. For Judas betrayal, I’d do dipping bread in a sauce like he did at the Last Supper (John 13:26). For the kiss, I’d substitute sucking on a lemon wedge (sour pucker that would be memorable!) for the arrest I’d skewer some cranberries which are bitter, for the crown of thorns have them chew on one clove, and for health reasons, I would put vinegar on a baked potato (potato chips are in the top ten worst foods )

    • All great ideas! I especially love the idea as a lemon slice for the kiss. I would always encourage others to modify my activities to fit their own needs. God bless! 🙂

  34. I have used this many times for my CCD class. The effect is so beautiful. Thank you.

  35. Thank you for this wonderful idea!!!!
    We will be using this.

  36. Lacy,
    Our family really enjoyed this commemoration and Bible study pairing for dinner tonight. Thank you for sharing!

  37. Thank you for sharing !! We loved it !! My 22 year old didn’t mind joining at all. All foods were part of the movie you suggested to watch on Monday, God with Us. It was perfect fit with scripture readings for my 7 year old, and 22 year old !!

  38. This is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing these awesome ideas.

  39. Stephanie says

    I’m going to try this activity with my 23 month old daughter after her nap…so it will be more of a “snack” than a lunch. She rarely gets chips or chocolate, so I think this will be a great hook to help her sit and listen. Such a great idea!

  40. Just wanted to add – even my 21 and 18 yr old sons love and look forward to this every year.

  41. Kimberly says

    I miss doing this with the students at my previous job. The lower elementary students had the Passion Lunch and the older ones had a full Christian Seder meal. It was the highlight of Holy Week. Parents would even come for these prayer experiences.