This Friday, March 19, Brooklyn’s oldest Italian Parish will be hosting an old tradition with new additions in the form of a Good Friday parade.
Sacred Hearts & St. Stephen Church will process through the streets of Carroll Gardens at 7:00 p.m. beginning and ending at the church, located at 125 Summit Street.
This tradition is dear to many Catholics, especially Italians, and the church is proud to be able to continue it, even though so much else in the community is changing, from the stores along the parade route to the pastors involved.
This year will be the first year newly installed Pastor of Sacred Hearts & St. Stephen, Rev. Msgr. Guy Massie, the Papal Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, and Bishop Frank Caggiano march in the procession.
Those involved have been asked to display crosses in the front yards of houses along the parade route and upon its conclusion, there will be a prayer service in Italian at the church.
According to Parish historian John Heyer II, it is events like this that maintain the individuality and identity of the people involved and ultimately, help preserve the small-town feeling of the neighborhood in such a large metropolis.
Good Friday processions have their roots in small Italian towns, and involve statuaries representing Jesus and Mary being carried by the processors, as well as traditional Italian hymns, an Italian funeral band, and re-enactments of Christ’s last steps to his tomb. These traditional elements from the past are still incorporated into the practices in modern-day Brooklyn, bringing faithful Catholics from various locations and time periods together in faith.