Hot Cross Buns!

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny,
Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

Traditional Nursery Rhyme

Another version of the rhyme says “One a penny, two a penny” as is sung here.

Hands up those who enjoy Hot Cross Buns!

Here in Britain they are sold throughout Lent up to Good Friday. The nursery rhyme comes directly from the street crier who would call out to sell his Hot Cross Buns.

For those who don’t know, a Hot Cross Bun is a sweet, spiced bun made with mixed dried fruit and marked with a cross on the top. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday. When I was a child, we would always have Hot Cross Buns for breakfast on Good Friday, although throughout Holy Week we would also have them for lunch or tea.

For several years now I’ve not been able to eat them due to being Wheat, Gluten, Dairy & Egg intolerant, but I now have a very handy book which has recipes which cover those food intolerances and has a Hot Cross Bun Recipe! :) So this year, I’m planning to make my own.

They are nice to eat cold, and I do know of some people who prefer them cold. Some people will just warm them up in the oven. Personally, I like to cut the buns in half, toast them, and then add butter. Yum!

Here’s a recipe I’ve found online for those who would like to make their own.

Whenever I tell the crucifixion story to children throughout the Lent/Easter period, I always bring CrossHot Cross Buns. We sit in a circle at the beginning of the session and I use the Godly Play Reflective Storytelling method to tell the Good Friday Story.

At the end we have a short discussion about the story and then I show them the buns and we talk about the cross on the top, and that the reason why we have Hot Cross Buns this time of year is to remember Jesus who died on the cross to save us from our sins.

Then comes the fun part – we pass the plate around and each gets to eat a bun. Well, half a bun as they are cut up to warm them.

At the end of the session, we will sit in a circle again and I’ll tell them the Easter Sunday story, of how Jesus rose from the dead. At the end of that we will talk about why we eat Easter Eggs. I ask them what is inside a real egg and we talk about the chicken hatching out of the shell and walking around, and linking it with Jesus being inside the tomb and coming out alive. Then we pass round the bowl of mini eggs to share.

I do keep the stories separate, particularly with young children, so that they can see more clearly that the story takes place over a period of time, and so that they can take on board a little more easily the traditions that link with the particular days: Good Friday = Hot Cross Buns, Easter Sunday = Easter Eggs.

If you are a children’s worker, then you might only have the one day to do the story, in which case you could do the same as I do and split the story so that you start and end your session with the stories.  However, if you’re planning to do this at home with your children, then you can do it on the actual days of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter as we remember and thank Him for His sacrifice on the cross for us, and for His conquering over death in rising from the dead.

~ Wendy Sparkes ~

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