I grew up attending a very small community church. I have tons of childhood memories of church events. I always LOVED Easter Sunday. But as a kid I hated Good Friday. I think it was the somber tone, it seemed everyone was so SAD, and I didn't like everyone being sad. Yes it was horrible that Jesus died on the cross, but he rose again three days later! (I know, I realize that makes no sense. Clearly I didn't quite grasp what the point was of observing Good Friday.)
The last couple of years though, attending a church that more closely follows the church calendar, I've come to really embrace the entire week (and season really) leading up to Easter Sunday. Last year I went to my first Ash Wednesday service and learned some about Lent. Then the Good Friday services at our church are actually some of my favorite church times of the whole year. Amazing hymns, scripture, readings, lots of symbolism. What a gift to sit and walk through the resurrection, and ponder what Jesus did on my behalf.
And this year I went to my first Maundy Thursday service, held not at our church but at a church across the street from us. There was a dinner to commemorate the Last Supper, and then a service that included communion etc. We even got to see our next door neighbor singing in the choir. (Which the kids were so excited about.)
Tomorrow of course is Easter Sunday. Which always feels so celebratory. I love knowing that we're participating in something that millions arond the world are also participating in, and something that people have been observing for centuries.
As for our kids, they attended all of this stuff too. (All five of them, no one went to the nursery or anything.) They sit and listen (in Anna's case she can read along in the bulletin and really participate) and even ask lots of questions ("what's a garment?" "why did Judas hang himself?"--yeah, one of my kids really did ask me that last night.) For now they're interested in what's going on and want to understand. I love it.
All of this to say that I've been trying to take the time to soak everything in this year. It's hard, what with the busy-ness of daily life, but it's well worth it. I hope it has been for you, too.