Prayers, scripture and hymns echoed off Salt Lake buildings on Good Friday as an ecumenical procession weaved through downtown streets.
Jose E. Torres was honored to carry a black shroud-draped wooden cross to lead the procession, a commemoration of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and opportunity for Christians to publicly witness to their faith."It helps me recognize what he (Christ) did for me," said Torres, a West Valley resident and youth leader at his Lutheran Church parish. "But this is a small trace of what he did for me. I only carried this five blocks, when he carried a cross through Jeruselum."
About 500 joined in the processional service, which began at First Presbyterian Church, 12 C Street, and made several stops at churches before con-cluding with hymns at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, 331 E. South Temple. The event was sponsored by the Central Salt Lake Council of Churches.
At the University of Utah, the U.'s InterFaith Council sponsored an Interfaith Stations of the Cross procession, which began at St. Catherine's Newman Center, 170 S. University St., and concluded at the Huntsman Center.
The events coincide with the Good Friday procession in Jeruselum, where thousands of pilgrims from around the world annually walk along the Via Dolorosa, retracing the route Jesus took to his crucifixion, according to tradition.
Faithful begin in the northeastern corner of the walled Old City, where tradition says is where the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate, tried and sentenced Jesus before forcing him to carry his own cross to cru-ci-fixion.
The route ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where many believe Jesus was to have been buried.
"It's a statement of faith in Christ's death and Resurrection," Monsignor Francis Mannion of the Cathedral of the Madeleine said of the processions. "It's a time of rejoicing because Christ rose from the dead. One sees Good Friday always in the light of Easter Sunday."