Stations of the Cross procession: Families walk through Fresno neighborhood, singing and praying

The procession commemorates the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A popular Good Friday celebration returned to its traditional roots this year at a southeast Fresno church.

The Stations of the Cross procession takes people through the entire neighborhood for prayers and song.

The pandemic prevented that from happening the past two years so families were glad to see the strolling service come back.

A large group of parishioners from St. Anthony Mary Claret church walked the streets in prayer.

14 Stations of the Cross were spread out through the neighborhood.

Paulina Landin's family hosted one of them.

"This day is really important to us because it kind of shows us and teaches us everything that God went through on this day and just sacrificed everything for us," said Landin.

The procession commemorates the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

This year, parishioners took turns carrying the cross.

"I just think it's a wonderful experience to just go out and kind of have faith and just be with family," said Fresno resident Giovanna Ibarra.

Father Patrick Ekong called it a time to celebrate the love of God.

The event was canceled two years ago due to the pandemic.

Last year they held prayers but no procession so the return of the service helped lift spirits.

Father Ekong was happy to see so many people on hand, with many COVID-19 restrictions lifted.

People even come from outside the neighborhood to join the faithful.

"It's also a very big lesson for us Christians that we are to live in service of one another, to be able to care for those in need, those who are poor, those who are sick," said Father Ekong.

Father Ekong added the church has been energized by the amount of people who have returned for in-person prayer services.

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