PHOTOS: Bay Ridge marks Greek Good Friday with procession

Parishioners young and old made their way to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church (8401 Ridge Boulevard) in commemoration of Greek Good Friday on April 6.

Each year, the day is marked with a procession led by the Ridge-based congregation.

“Obviously the Friday is a very important religious holiday in the Greek Orthodox calendar,” said parishioner Sandy Vallas said last year of the holiday, which centers around remembering the death of Jesus Christ. “The procession that we do at Holy Cross is done every year and it’s done with the help of many church organizations and with the help of our 68th Precinct.”

This year’s gathering was no different.

“We had wonderful participation,” Holy Cross Parish Council President Demetrios Kalamaras told this paper. “It’s always a bittersweet evening, but it’s a significant thing that we do. It’s a tradition we’ve carried over from Greece and from Jerusalem but we had a lovely turnout. It was a chilly night but it was nice and clear.”

Shy of the midnight celebration of the Resurrection, Kalamaras said, the procession is one of the parish’s most solemn commemorations.

“The priest noted in his sermon that this is an opportunity to have people come to the church and follow in Christ’s mission,” he said. “It’s all about Christ going out amongst the local community.”

The holiday culminates on Greek Easter Sunday.

While the largest concentration of Greeks and Greek-Americans in New York City can be found in Astoria, Queens, the Fort Hamilton/Bay Ridge area is home to a sizable amount as well, according to demographic data. In total, residents of Greek descent make up about one percent of New York City’s population.

“We’re thankful and grateful to the community that allows us to continue to do this,” Kalamaras said. “The police were observant and very helpful. The neighbors were very respectful. It means a lot to us.”

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