Birthday Party on Good Friday


I am a convert as of Easter 2000. My wife (married 23+ years) and kids are cradle Catholics. My parents, brothers, and their families are not Catholic. One of my brothers has a birthday next week on April 11. His wife is planning a birthday party on Good Friday evening. I was very surprised that they picked this day for a party. As I said, they are not Catholic but they are Methodist and attend regularly. I must say I do not feel good about going and my (wonderful) wife says she will not go. We normally attend Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights of Holy Week. I would like advice from two perspectives. #1 What am I ALLOWED to do on Good Friday and #2 what SHOULD I do in this situation. It is most important to me that I do the right thing, even if I hurt some feelings in the family (hopefully THAT won’t happen).

p.s. i know even IF I were to attend I could not eat meat and I would have to fast all day prior.




growing up we were never allowed to particpate in any extracurricular activities during this time of Lent. I still maintain those rules with my family.


I would just call and send regrets, that your family has a previous commitment (no need to say what), but you would still like to get together on the birthday itself with your brother and his wife. Also send a card and gift if you would have taken one to the party.


Sooooo would not party on Good Friday. No party food - no singing - no cake & icecream. I wouldn’t care who’s b-day it was… I couldn’t be in the proper celebration frame of mind so I wouldn’t go.

I agree that you don’t need to make a big to-do about it though. Do you think your brother will understand? If he’s a Christian he should !! It is the most solem (how is that word spelled?) day of the year.


[quote=carol marie]It is the most solem (how is that word spelled?) day of the year.

I think you mean Solemn.


[quote=computerguy]I think you mean Solemn.

yep! That’s what I mean. :slight_smile: (Isn’t English so dumb! What IS that silent “n” for? )


I know that extended family is important, but your own immediate family (children and wife) seem like the priority here. I would go to church and do the things likely to continue their spiritual growth and set the good example for them. Your brother and other adults should understand a prior important commitment, but a child sees what you do no matter what you say about it and remembers. I can remember some incidents of adults not living up to their professed ideals quite clearly from my childhood. I would hate for your children to remember this Good Friday as one of those instances. For me, no party would be worth it.


Having had my Birthday actually fall on Good Friday last year, we did like the Church did, celebrated it later. Oh, if you all remember, Good Friday last year was the Annunciation and the Church moved it to the first Monday in April allowing for the joy of Easter and its celebration to be done before celebrating the Incarnation at the Annunciation!

I might do regular things on a Good Friday, like going to work or whatever but no parties.

Like others have suggested, just send your regrets that you and your family have previous plans and either suggest you will go out with them later to celebrate when you can give your gift or send the gift.

Just so you all know, my birthday always falls during Lent but I have always celebrated it on the day or the closest weekend, last year was the first time I ever remember it falling on Good Friday which takes precedence over any other celebration!

Brenda V.

closed #9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit