Every year on Good Friday, San Juan Bautista Catholic Church in Lancaster re-enacts the Way of the Cross, taking the procession leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion through the streets of the city.
“We start out somewhere between two or three hundred,” said Father Allan Wolfe. “But by the end, we may reach somewhere near 500 as we walk through the neighborhood and people join us along the way.”
Parishioners actively participate, following along the route, making for a very emotional experience.
“I think it’s a great experience,” said Carole Kirchner, as she walked in the procession with her grandson. “It’s kind of a reflection of what Jesus went through and we’re reliving that and walking the steps.”
For some, it can be difficult to watch.
“It makes me cry and sometimes I think they’re just being bullies you know, they way they treat him and whip him and all that,” said Torres Digna, who participates in the procession every year.
Father Wolfe said the realism of the portrayal is intentional.
“When people read the scriptures, at times, they’re just words,” he said. “So acting out this Via Crucis, the Stations of the Cross, makes it more realistic, helping our children, our adults, all of us to really understand what Christ endured for us.”