For the 23rd year, Brooklyn was the starting point for a solemn Good Friday procession that followed the Way of the Cross over the Brooklyn Bridge.
According to organizers, the March 30 event saw approximately 2,000 people attend the event, which combined the procession with Gospel passages, choral music and selected readings to contemplate the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The event began at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. James, 250 Cathedral Place, as Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan greeted participants in the procession over the Brooklyn Bridge. The walk passed through Zuccotti Park and concluded at St. Peter’s Church, on Barclay Street.
“What was most remarkable is that at a time where everyone is doing marches, it’s very clear that the Way of the Cross was a place where everyone was coming together and suffering together to remember that Christ died on this day for us,” said Elizabeth Peralta, who is in charge of press and also a volunteer for the event. “It seemed like every person I spoke to came, whether it was their first time or years of being there had this day become an important tradition for them. Every year, they are moved and I think that was really beautiful.”
A choir was on hand with which the attendees, holding crosses, sang along.
“This is a reminder even as New Yorkers, our oneness and how we can be together in a city that everyone says is the city that never sleeps,”Peralta added. “So to have this moment where we are literally in silence walking together and then hearing something like the choir sing these beautiful chants and songs, it reminds us that we’re not alone. It’s really important for people to be reminded of this.”
Peralta also encountered a touching story during the day.
“I was particularly moved by one of the volunteers,” she said. “His dad used to carry the cross and he passed away recently, like a couple of years ago. I saw him there and he just said he’s been coming to this since he was a baby and now he’s 13 going on 14. He said, ‘I’m doing it to remember my father.”
Sponsored by the Movement of Communion and Liberation, the Way of the Cross publicly commemorates five stations of the Passion of Jesus Christ, beginning at St. James Cathedral-Basilica in Downtown Brooklyn, moving across the Brooklyn Bridge, stopping at City Hall and Ground Zero, and concluding at St. Peter’s Church in Lower Manhattan.