Pilgrims Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge on Good Friday for the Way of the Cross Procession

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Good Friday, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY

By Jessica Easthope

On the most solemn day of the year, hundreds turn their sorrow into footsteps, following the path Christ took to where he was crucified.

These pilgrims use the Way of the Cross to present their faith to the world on Good Friday.

“We follow him on this walk, commemorating his death and his passion and death. And then we do that because he came to walk among us,” Bishop Robert Brennan said. “He came to be with us to guide us, to give us life and hope.”

Bishop Brennan led hundreds from the Cathedral Basilica of St. James across the Brooklyn Bridge to Lower Manhattan. Among those that walked nearly two miles behind a wooden cross are Catholics just learning of Christ’s sacrifice.

Daniella Ruggiero, a parishioner at St Saviour Church in Park Slope, brought her children on the journey.

“To come here with them, and having the cross in front of us is to show my kids that the Christ is not is not only inside the church, but it’s around us in our daily life,” Ruggiero said.

Silvia Romano and her daughters traveled from Connecticut to be part of the annual procession.

“It’s very important to bring my girls here because the Christian experience, that is a challenge in your heart that in very but not only something that you go to the church on Sunday,” Romano said. “So, I really like that that that’s these that are about the way of the and they will not them.”

Pilgrims we spoke with say that in New York City one of the most secular places on earth it becomes more and more of a challenge every year to live your faith. But it’s on days like this, they’re reminded why they take that challenge head on.

“With everything that comes through this city, that for us is important to let them understand that it’s something for them and one day I hope that they will discover it and they should be proud.”

Bishop Brennan says the growing number of children who walk the Way of the Cross is a source of hope.

“It is always encouraging to see this particular walk as an attraction for so many of our young people,” Bishop Brennan said. “These kind of moments will always stay with us, especially in times of need. We’ll be able to know with a little bit of confidence when we’re going through our tough times.”

The crowd stopped several times during the procession to read Stations of the Cross, sing and to hear reflections from Bishop Brennan before ending in the Financial District.

It’s important to note that Good Friday is the only day the church doesn’t celebrate Mass.

That’s because Catholics believe Good Friday is a day of mourning, not joy.

Instead, services are held, which include a special reading of the Gospel, a veneration of the Cross, and a distribution of Holy Communion from the reserved sacrament.

No prayer of consecration takes place, to deepen our sense of loss.