In the midst of an overwhelming silence, half a thousand faithful marched this Friday morning to recreate the five seasons of the Passion of Jesus Christ that is celebrated in different ways around the world, and that in New York City, not by moving in Through a fervent solemnity, it also ceases to become one more of the tourist attractions.
“It has a lot to do with walking because we believe that the Lord Jesus carried the cross all over Jerusalem until he reached Golgotha, and that implies like a pilgrimage, getting going, walking and leaving, and that’s what we do on this day,” he murmured. Mexican Javier González who, for four years, has been traveling from Connecticut to participate in the procession.
The tradition of the Via Crucis on the Brooklyn Bridge (Way of The Cross Over The Brooklyn Bridge” began in 1995 at the initiative of the Communion and Liberation Movement, which was founded in Italy and currently has groups throughout the world, New York including.
“They have a very prominent philosophy about the presence of God in the realities of the world, in daily life, at work, in suffering,” said Diana B. who, since she arrived from Bolivia four years ago, has not stopped participating in the event. The Communion and Liberation movement, basing its teachings on the sacred scriptures, “asks all Christians to have a day of penance and reflection and the fact that we do it across the Brooklyn Bridge is like a metaphor for the reality of the passion and how each one of us interprets it,” he added.
The walk every Good Friday interprets the five seasons of the Passion of Jesus Christ and begins at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. James in downtown Brooklyn. There, to the rhythm of The Last Seven Words of Our Savior on the Cross” by Hayden, the program began: “I am capable of anything, Lord, if I am with you you are my strength”, was highlighted in one of the prayers that was the preamble of divine Gregorian chants.
Afterwards, the almost 500 faithful left the temple of St James and headed towards the Brooklyn Bridge following the path of the cross that is at the forefront both in the route and in the illumination of their beliefs.
In the upper part of this historic facility, open to traffic in 1883, another stop was made with hundreds of faithful occupying one of the traffic lanes. The speaker pointed out that “nothing can be useless in life, if an offering is attempted, a link with the mystery of that man who was God and who died to save us.” Below, the cold waters of the East River blew up a refreshing blizzard while a bird curled up in a crook of the bridge’s pillars, chirped over the heads of the faithful as if wanting to join in the festivities.
day of mourning among Christians
The journey on the last section of the bridge was the most complicated because the route narrows and at that time hundreds of tourists came in the opposite direction, wondering in several languages, even with their eyes, what is happening. Looking at the constantly moving cross, they shook their heads as if understanding that it was a procession on Good Friday. The next station was held outside the City Hall with more songs and prayers.
“There is a very deep meaning in saying ‘we go from one place to another, from life to death but also from death to life’, something that happens in everyday life,” Javier González noted from his almost 1.90 meter height . “If you look at the journey on the bridge, people are leading their lives, we try not to disturb and the step towards here is trying to make it as incarnated as possible, which is the way in which Jesus lived it”, he illustrated.
Most of those who attended the call of the procession did so wearing black clothing as a sign of mourning for the death of Jesus Christ. It was a march that moved silently in the middle of one of the noisiest cities in the world. It was not a morning to smile or socialize, but to do penance and lament the facts that unite them around Jesus Christ and his teachings.
At this point, the cross had already changed hands and the one who moved it is another of those assigned for that task, while the Reverend Robert J. Brennan, bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, was behind accompanying the process.
“This event has great significance for Christians, it is a central tenet of their faith,” said Louis Giovino, who is part of the Communion and Liberation Movement.
A Friday that is not for vacation
Javier Ruiz is another Mexican who attended the procession with his wife for the second year. “We have come to give a little more of ourselves in response to what Jesus Christ gave and it is the faith that we never lose, the faith that was renewed with the pandemic, and that makes us thankful,” he said before entering the last station. in lower Manhattan, St. Peter’s Church, which is surrounded by courthouses, police departments, and a jail under repair.
“During the pandemic I saw the indignation and despair of the people and in my case I asked for everyone and my faith was renewed,” continued Ruiz, who finds it incredible that instead of “giving a deeper meaning to Good Friday, many people He’s just thinking about taking a vacation.” He invited us to take the day to reflect, and “deal with many of the problems that are happening in the world, such as climate change.”
Good Friday, by the way, also marks the end of a period of sacrifice and penance for Christians known as Lent. Thus ends a period of 40 days that honors the 40 days of fasting that Jesus Christ is said to have endured in the desert.
According to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) in 2008, 76% of Americans identified themselves as Christians, 51% of them affiliated with different types of Protestant churches and the remaining 26 percent professing Catholicism.
Despite these numbers, the celebrations of Holy Week do not usually match those that are common in Latin American countries such as Mexico or Brazil, and European countries such as Spain or Italy. However, silent marches like the Via Crucis Over the Brooklyn Bridge take hold every year as a worthy representation of the Passion of Christ.
Leaving the Church of San Pedro, the hundreds of faithful allowed themselves a moment of relaxation. Perhaps convinced that in a few hours the resurrection of the person they have decided to follow as their spiritual guide will come and that, in most cases, has led them to be better people.
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