In honor of Christ’s journey to the cross of Calvary, a group of Alaskans are planning to process through Anchorage, carrying a large wooden cross and offering public prayers on Good Friday, April 2.
The local tradition of holding a Good Friday faith walk in the lead up to Easter Sunday began many years ago by the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau, but the event was cancelled both last year and this year due to COVID concerns.
It is important to continue this tradition and show that God is bigger than a virus.
In typical years, hundreds of Alaskans participate in the annual devotion, processing through the city and pausing a key landmarks to pray the 14 Stations of the Cross. The event usually ends with prayer before a massive wooden cross in Town Square.
This year will be a little different. Organized by a group of local Catholics and Protestants, the event has no formal ties with any particular church, and it is open to those from all walks of life.
“It is important to continue this tradition and show that God is bigger than a virus,” said Patrick Droege, who is part of a team helping to organize the event. “We invite all Christians, as well as those finding their faith, to join us on this most holy of days to commemorate our Savior’s walk to Calvary.”
The history of commemorating Christ’s final hours before his crucifixion can be traced back to early Christian pilgrims who traveled to Jerusalem to prayerfully retrace the traditional route from Pontius Pilate’s house to Calvary. Over the centuries, individual churches have erected miniature stations inside their places of worship. During Lent – the 40 days leading to Easter – many churches pray the Stations each Friday. This is particularly important in Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran traditions.
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Each station includes a reading from scripture and a traditional prayer that reads, “We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”
The Anchorage walk will begin at Point Woronzof Park and end at Town Square. The route is 5.6 miles and will take about two hours to complete. Organizers are hoping youth groups and members from churches will join the procession. Individuals are encouraged to bring their own crosses to carry along the way.
“This is open to everybody who really wants to get closer to God,” Droege said, “or people who are still seeking him.”
GOOD FRIDAY FAITH WALK DETAILS
- Date: Friday, April 2
- Time: Gather at 10:30 a.m. (walk begins at 11 a.m.)
- Starting location: Point Woronzof parking lot
- Conclusion: Town Square (outside the Performing Arts Center)
- Click here to view the route.
- Click here to see the Stations of the Cross prayer.
- For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.