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Christian Pilgrims Observe Good Friday in Jerusalem

Christian worshipers carry a cross towards the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's Old City, Mar. 29, 2013.
Christians around the world are observing Good Friday, which marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Thousands of pilgrims packed the narrow alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City for the traditional Good Friday Procession. Some people hoisted big wooden crosses on their shoulders as they marched down the cobblestoned path known asVia Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows.

The faithful retraced the footsteps of Jesus with the traditional devotion known as the stations of the Cross - reading scriptures, saying prayers and touching the sacred stones.

“I feel humbled before the Providence of God,” said John Thekkekara who came from Kerala, India. "This is believed to be the day on which Jesus was crucified. And it is the greatest experience in my life to be here on this day in Jerusalem.”

Pilgrims came from all over the world, from the Far East to the West. Mary Hull is from Georgia in the United States.

“To actually be here at the day of the crucifixion, wow, it just gives me that immediacy and that sense of gratitude for what He was willing to go through for me. I feel close to Jesus. I feel His presence,” she said.

Israeli soldiers armed with assault rifles guarded the route, as the procession wound up at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion. It is there on Easter Sunday that Christians will celebrate the resurrection.