High School Track Meet on Good Friday - Oy!


My son, a high school junior, has a high school track meet this Friday (Good Friday), of all things. It even starts at noon.
I am respectfully asking his coaches (both are Catholic) to excuse him that day but I don’t know how much flak he will get.
I realize that Good Friday is not a holy day of obligation but it just seems to me that day should be different than any other day of the year. I’m also not condemning the coaches or even the organizers of the meet.
However, I do hate to make waves. Do you think I’m out of line with pulling him out of the meet? (Thank heavens, my son seems fine with it.)


I don’t think that you are “out of line” by any means. While I say that, I also believe that there is nothing wrong with participating in a track meet on Good Friday for those who would wish to do so. That being said, it sure would be nice having that “free time” in the afteroon to take in the stations of the cross prior to participating in the celebration of the Passion. :thumbsup: God bless.


I am fortunate that the Catholic HS I teach at, mandates that all extracurricular activities end before noon on Holy Thursday and do not resume again until Easter Monday. Unfortunately, I doubt many of our students truly understand the “why” of this decision.



I wouldn’t be asking, I’d be telling the coaches that my child will not be there because we will be in Church observing the Lord’s Passion in a proper fashion.

Yes, it should.

I would. Shame on them for organizing the meet over an important religious holiday. Clearly the children are off of school, and they should not have this in the way of observing the holiest time of the Christian year. It is completely lacking in judgment on the part of the coaches, and I would contact the administration at the school and complain.

I would suggest that you should make waves. Otherwise, our faith will continue to get run over roughshod-- what’s next? The school administration should be clear that there will not be tournaments and meets on days that are scheduled as HOLIDAYS, and if there are then they must be optional with NO penalty to families that choose not to attend.



Good Friday is a day of fast and abstinence.

Maybe the coach would be persuaded by the fact that fasting could affect your son’s running performance?

It’s true that he is allowed to eat one meal that day, but he will not be able to eat whatever he wants, whenever he needs to…


In the US fasting only binds those who have completed their 18th year. Therefore, her son would not be bound by fast. He would be bound by abstinence from meat.


I’m with 1ke, my son would be telling his coaches (with me backing him up) that he will not participate in a game on Good Friday.

Good for you and for your son for standing up and being those “wierd Catholics” on this day!


What is sad is that the coaches are Catholic. Ugh!


If I was in high school and there was a meet on Good Friday I wouldn’t go. One of the schools near us always had a big invitational but it always fell on Good Friday so we could never attend. It’s not the end of the world and the coaches will have to understand because they cannot discriminate based on religious observances. He should receive no penalty for not attending. I work for a before and after school program here and the public schools dont have school and we are closed as well (we’re usually open on snow days and some holidays).


I think it shows the importance of your faith that you won’t allow sports to take precedence in your life.

I remember a few years ago when Shawn Green wouldn’t play in the World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. (Sandy Koufax is famous for making the same decision.) I see these men as Jewish role models. They knew what took priority.

Your son has the opportunity to be a Catholic role model. He can show that he worships the God who died on the cross, not the secular god of sports.


The best solution would be for you to have a serious talk with him, and explain why it’s egregious to have such an event scheduled on Good Friday.

This, of course, means also explaining why public schools have a disregard of most religious concerns.

Balance that by pointing out that, with the increased number of Muslims and with the doctrine of political correctness, there are very few institutions that will come down hard on someone for practicing his faith. Or so I feel.

If he’s in high school, it’s a good opportunity for him to choose a moral action on his own two feet.


The OP mentioned that the coaches were Catholic, but I got the impression that this was a public school. (I guess I am assuming that a Catholic school wouldn’t schedule an event such as this on Good Friday.) Where I live, public schools are in session, and Good Friday is just another Friday on the school calendar.

While I agree that a student should not be penalized for taking off for a religious observance, I don’t think it’s practical to schedule public school events around all the religious holidays that students of many religions might want to observe.


I don’t get this… it starts at noon, right? Which means this child would have plenty of time to participate in the meet and still get to, say, a 7:00 p.m. Good Friday service? Why can’t he do both?

Seems to me that if you choose to have your child in a public school (as do I, BTW), you are going to have to accept that your holy days will not be days off most of the time. And work around that. Again… why can’t he do both?


All the Good Friday services I’ve ever been to start at noon. I wasn’t aware that churches had them at 7pm?


I think if my children had to attend the funeral, they would not participate in any other events that day out of respect. Good Friday to me should be observed in the same way.


My Parish celebrates the Passion in the evening. However, at 3pm (I believe) they conduct Stations of the cross.


:banghead: But Jesus DIED at 3pm! It’s there in the Gospels.

Why on earth, on a day which is a public holiday and thus most everyone should have no work committments, would anyone celebrate the service of the Lord’s Passion in the evening or at any time other than 3pm? It’s only one of if not the most important event in human history after all.


Can someone provide a resource for how we should be observing the day? Thanks


Well, to answer your question, Good Friday is not a public holiday here in Nashville, TN (USA). Most people are still at work at 3pm in the afternoon so if my parish were to celebrate the Passion at 3pm, there would only be a handful of people in attendence and a TON of people upset that they couldn’t participate. Thus the reason why my parish offers an evening service and a 3pm stations of the cross. I hope that helps. Oh, I don’t know about there in Australia, but here in the US, Good Friday is not even a Holy Day of Obligation. God bless.


I am a city employee in a city near Cleveland, Ohio, and Good Friday is not a public holiday for us, either. I wish it was!

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