Celebrating a No-Alcohol Good Friday

This article was written by Alyssa and published by Faith in Recovery.


Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. This holiday is observed during Holy Week and goes by names like Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday, and Black Friday. Good Friday is also the Friday before Easter. In 2023, it falls on April 7th. While this holiday can be considered emotionally sobering, it may present problems for individuals in recovery from addiction. Everyone celebrates holidays differently, but one common denominator we see in celebrations is alcohol. It may seem less likely that a person will drink heavily on such a serious holiday, but that is not always the case. Faith in Recovery shares ways to celebrate a no-alcohol Good Friday for those in recovery.


Can You Drink Alcohol on Good Friday?

Drinking on Good Friday has been a topic of debate for years. This is especially true in Ireland, where the purchase of alcohol on this holiday was banned due to the 1927 Intoxicating Liquor Act. But what about Good Friday drinking in the U.S.?

While some places in the U.S. never sell alcohol on Sundays, generally, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are the only days when alcohol cannot be purchased alone but must be purchased with a meal. Laws like these mean that while you can get a drink at a bar with your meal, you can’t purchase a six-pack at a liquor store on Good Friday.

Considering that people generally buy alcohol beforehand, many also wonder if you’re allowed to drink on Good Friday. While you are allowed to drink alcohol on Good Friday, most Catholics would say no, mainly for religious reasons.

Catholics may celebrate Lent, the time before Easter in which believers abstain from something and fast in remembrance of Jesus’s death on the cross. Lent is a 40-day-long fast in which people commonly abstain from chocolate or alcohol. According to canon law (the Law of Moses), Catholics over the age of 14 are expected to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays during Lent.

Additionally, Catholics are encouraged to abstain from something that brings them pleasure during Lent. This can be something they enjoy doing, like unnecessary shopping or looking at social media, or it could be something they enjoy eating or drinking, which is often alcohol. In addition to falling in line with Lent, some believers may feel as if consuming alcohol on these more meaningful holidays would undermine their purpose. For this reason, many of the faith-based community may celebrate Good Friday alcohol-free.


Celebrating a Sober Good Friday

We’ve previously written about giving up alcohol for Lent. For many people, this can be more difficult than they imagined. Holidays like Lent, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday often serve to bring out the things in life that we need to pay more attention to, and for some people, that’s a drinking problem. While it may seem unlikely or specific, many people realize their attachment to or dependence on alcohol during Good Friday and other related holidays that require abstinence of some sort.

Drinking around the holidays, in general, is common practice. While some people may believe you need alcohol to have fun, others may drink to overcome difficult emotions that may present themselves during these times.

Whether you want to focus more on the reasons behind the holiday or sustain the sobriety you’ve worked hard to achieve, below are some tips for celebrating a no-alcohol Good Friday you might find helpful:

  • Read your Bible: Especially if you’ve chosen to abstain from alcohol for Lent, what better way to keep yourself motivated than to go back into Scripture and read about the purpose behind the holiday? There are many verses for addiction recovery that you can continue to look at today and in the future.
  • Spend time with loved ones: You may have isolated yourself often during active addiction, possibly out of shame over your behavior or to make substance use easier. If this was you, spending time with loved ones and being around positive people is a simple and effective way to keep yourself accountable.
  • Pray: As a Christian drug rehabilitation center, we strongly believe in the power of prayer for addiction recovery. Considering the meaning behind Good Friday, there’s much support and peace you can receive from praying through tough moments in your sober walk.
  • Have an accountability partner: Maybe you’re going to celebrate with friends who still drink. It can help to go with a friend, preferably one who will refrain from drinking that day, who will keep you accountable and warn you when they see a red flag in your behavior.
  • Celebrate on your own: Sometimes, doing your own thing will benefit you the most in sobriety. If you don’t want to risk being around alcohol because you’re in early recovery, celebrate Good Friday on your own.


Christian Addiction Recovery for Alcoholism

Long-term alcohol abuse can have a major impact on an individual and their loved ones. The good news is that recovery is possible. If you or someone you care about is battling alcoholism, our Christian drug rehab offers alcohol addiction treatment and medical detox that can offer physical and mental support for recovery.

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