For the past 20 years or so, there’s been some ceremony or outdoor observance of Good Friday in Arden and the Matson Family has been front and centre of most of them.
This year, on Good Friday, the Passion Walk began at the Matsons Farm and proceeded through the hamlet to the United church, a distance of about 3 kilometres.
“When you get older, the distance gets further,” said patriarch Glen Matson. “They had services in the ’50s but nothing to this extent.
“I guess it’s been the last 18-20 years we’ve done something like this (and) I think it started when Barb Mahood was the pastor.”
One year they erected three crosses and held a service while three residents occupied them.
Jeff Matson was on the centre cross (portraying Jesus).
When asked if Good Friday and the Easter observance meant something special to him, he replied: “Yeah, it does.
“It didn’t until I was on that cross but there’s something to standing in someone else’s shoes — well sandals because they didn’t have shoes in those days.
“But it’s come to signify the beginning of life to me and people coming together to celebrate that beginning.”
The Rev. Dr. Rick Magie said he’s seen many Good Friday observances but “not like this one.”
He credited Glen Matson for being the driving force.
“On a day like this, I’m just a follower,” he said.
But he appreciates the message being portrayed.
“Good Friday is a piece in the whole Easter experience,” he said. “It reminds us that Jesus was a human being.
“The reason for ‘Good’ Friday is that it reminds us that death doesn’t have the last word.
“There’s more to us than skin and bones and the rest of the church year is to find it.”
Sarah Hale agreed.
“It’s one of my favourite things of the year,” she said. “It has a very intense purpose but it’s very relaxed in the way it’s done.
“It’s important for kids to have a view of the Easter weekend besides chocolate rabbits but it’s also important for them to have a time to talk about these things and ask questions.
“And it’s a good chance to get caught up on local gossip.”