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Thousands Take Part in Jerusalem Good Friday Procession

  • Robert Berger

Christians carry a cross during a procession along the Via Dolorosa on Good Friday during Holy Week in Jerusalem's Old City, April 3, 2015.

Christians carry a cross during a procession along the Via Dolorosa on Good Friday during Holy Week in Jerusalem's Old City, April 3, 2015.

Christians around the world are observing Good Friday, marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Thousands of pilgrims crowded into the narrow cobblestone alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City for the traditional Good Friday procession. Many carried big wooden crosses as they marched down the historic Via Dolorosa, or Way of Sorrows. They sang hymns and read scriptures as they visited the 14 stations of the Cross, which re-tell the gospels' story of Christ's final hours and his death on the cross.

The faithful came from all over the world.

“It is truly a privilege to be here,” said Joseph Magtoto, from the Philippines. “It is very wonderful - joyful - celebrating the life that Jesus spent in his own home country. We can also celebrate Good Friday, the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jerusalem is also awash with Jewish pilgrims, as Good Friday coincides this year with the weeklong Biblical holiday of Passover. It was an intriguing mix for Jeff Smith, a Christian from Utah in the United States.

“Something grand happened in the lives of many, many people today - in the lives of many Christian people, and for Jewish people the same thing. I think it’s a fascinating experience to see these people worshipping their God, their way,” he said.

The Good Friday procession wound up at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site where Jesus was buried. It is there on Easter Sunday that Christians will celebrate their belief in his resurrection from the dead.

PHOTO GALLERY: Good Friday celebrations around the world

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