For many years, we have joined thousands of fellow Catholics and Christians of other faiths in the annual Good Friday Way of the Cross procession over the Brooklyn Bridge. Each year this solemn event commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary.
However, for the first time since 1996, the procession of worshippers will not take place on April 2 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In previous years, the holy procession began with a service conducted by Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio inside the Cathedral Basilica of St. James on Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Procession participants then gathered behind a wooden cross and slowly trekked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Ground Zero. Along the way, stations of the cross were recited, passages of the gospel were read and hymns were sung on the bridge, at City Hall, at Ground Zero and, finally, at St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street.
This annual commemoration is hosted by the international Catholic organization Communion and Liberation. Christopher Vath, who served as the choral director for the Way of the Cross procession, is known locally as the musical director of St. Patrick’s Church in Bay Ridge.
Joint evening Way of the Cross processions led by Bishop DiMarzio at some Catholic churches in Southwest Brooklyn have also been cancelled.
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To our Jewish friends and readers as they celebrate: Happy Passover 2021.