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Living Way of the Cross Celebrated at St. Raphael Church

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An estimated 2,000 people on Good Friday participated in the Way of the Cross at St. Raphael the Archangel Church in Raleigh. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge presided at the service, which featured a dramatization of the Passion by the Hispanic community of the parish. The Hispanic custom is also known as “The Living Way of the Cross.”

The re-enactment of each of the 14 Stations of the Cross is carried out with men and women portraying the roles, beginning with Roman soldiers bringing Jesus before Pontius Pilate and the members of the Sanhedrin. The first station is the longest involving the trial of Jesus, His scourging and the choice by the crowd to save Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Touching scenes occur when “Jesus Meets His Mother” and when “Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus.”

A light rain began falling when the service reached the Fourth Station, with a heavier rain falling several minutes later. While many of the faithful came prepared with umbrellas and remained during the rain, the precipitation hampered complete coverage of the 14 Stations of the Cross by three local television stations and others with professional cameras.

The dramatization of the Passion is a long-standing tradition in Latin America and the Philippines.

Above: Re-enactment of the Passion of Our Lord at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Raleigh. First Station portrayal of Pontius Pilate asking the crowd to choose between Jesus and Barabbas.

Above: Part of approximately 2,000 faithful attending the Stations of the Cross at St. Raphael Catholic Church on Good Friday.