SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It is Good Friday, the day that Christians around the world pause to pray and reflect upon the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In Springfield, hundreds of parishioners of the Blessed Sacrament Church joined in an annual procession through the city’s North End to re-enact the Way of the Cross.
Costumed re-enactors stopped along the procession route to re-create Jesus’ final hours, from being condemned to death, to carrying the cross, to giving his life.
The largely Hispanic Catholic parish has been conducting this procession for decades. Raquel Rivera has been attending this Good Friday observance since she was a child.
“Oh it just gives me hope and faith for humanity to see my Latino-Americans persevere and keep the faith the way they do back home,” Rivera said.
As Miguel Resto watched, he recalled when he portrayed Jesus during the same ceremony more than 30 years ago.
“I was in a youth group, and I was setting an example. So to me, it was an honor. My mother was the one who coordinated the show,” Resto said.
As onlooker Adam Gomez observed the number of people who had filled the Blessed Sacrament Church courtyard for the Good Friday service, he told 22News how proud he is of this solidarity.
“It’s that we’re together, no matter what’s going on. We always come together in times of celebration and faith,” Gomez said.
It has been more than 40 years since Blessed Sacrament Church and its parishioners brought this tradition from Puerto Rico to their new home in Western Massachusetts.