At St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church on Harwell Road, the celebration of the Christian faith's Good Friday is a somber ceremony.
The Way of the Cross, the Catholics’ devotion, traces 12 steps from Pilate’s judgment to Jesus’ crucifixion and burial in the tomb.
The service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday with silence as the ministers enter the sanctuary. The congregation, mostly African-Americans and Hispanic, will listen as the gospel is read about the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The members will show reverence by bowing, touching, kissing or kneeling before the 4-foot cross brought in by the priest and placed before the altar.
“It’s a very mournful type of service,” Father Jerome McKenna said. “Good Friday is very subdued.”
In and around the Cascade Community, hundreds will gather on Good Friday–also known as Holy Friday and Great Friday–to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
But perhaps, for many, one of the most memorable showings will come at noon when hundreds from numerous denominations all come under one roof, in one shared belief –that there is only one God.
For years churches of various denominations from the Cascade Corridor, which includes more than 30 churches, have been coming together on Good Friday at one church.
On Friday, they will convene at Zion Hill Baptist Church, 6175 Campbellton Rd.
The pastors of six churches will join Zion Hill’s pastor in presenting a sermon on the Perspective on the Cross, said Donna Watts Nunn, the church’s executive assistant.
“We are hosting a conglomerate of several churches,” Nunn said. “It’s going to be a very diverse attendance here tomorrow.”
Cascade United Methodist Church will be a part of the cluster of churches at Zion, which can seat up to 2,500 people.
“It’s gratifying because there is only one God and we can serve him together,” said Gracie White, the church’s secretary. “It’s the root of our service. We are all connected through the love of Christ.”
The Methodist church will also be having its own celebration with a 7 p.m. gospel concert featuring Saxophonist Angela Christie.
No matter the denomination or the beliefs, Christ died for all, said Father McKenna. He highlights a special part of his church’s commemoration:
“The prayers offered by the congregation for the different categories of people of the world, even Atheist are prayed for.
“Our belief is that Christ died for all, so all are included in the prayer.”