By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
RAVENA — A small contingent of the faithful walked through the village on Good Friday carrying a large wooden cross in the annual Cross Walk.
The cross was adorned with a black banner and a replica of the crown of thorns, a wreath of thorns that was placed on the head of Jesus Christ at the Crucifixion, according to the Christian faith.
The walk, which started out in Faith Plaza outside Abounding Love Christian Fellowship, is hosted each year by the RCS Association of Churches.
“We are walking in remembrance of Jesus dying on the cross in the Crucifixion, in remembrance of Good Friday and his sacrifice for us, his life-giving blood that was shed on the cross for us and the three hours of darkness during the Good Friday Crucifixion,” Melanie Collins from Trinity United Methodist Church said as walkers gathered.
According to the Christian religion, Good Friday commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and Easter, celebrated the following Sunday, celebrates his Resurrection.
The Rev. Antonio Booth, co-pastor at Riverview Missionary Baptist Church, said Easter is the most important holiday of the year for Christians, eclipsing even Christmas in religious significance.
“This is the most important holiday that we celebrate — Easter and the Resurrection,” Booth said. “Yes, we do celebrate the birth of Jesus, but Easter is the most important because it is because of him that we have eternal life.”
The holiday — and the Cross Walk — also serve as important reminders, Booth said.
“It is a great time to remind people that there is more to life than just materialism, purchasing this and that, and acquiring more money and those types of things,” Booth said. “There’s a spiritual part of our life that we need to cultivate, too. I thank God that we have this opportunity to walk around the community, pray in the community, stop at various churches, hold up the cross and remind people who Jesus is and what he did for us.”
The small group of walkers left Faith Plaza around noon and stopped at just about every church in the village, reading a passage from Scripture and reciting a prayer.
“We will go to almost every church in Ravena,” Booth said. “We start at Abounding Love and then go to Grace Chapel, then we go up to Grace United Methodist, the Congregational Church, the Evangelical Church, then we stop at the Catholic Church (St. Patrick’s Church) and we end at Riverview Missionary Baptist Church. We will do a reading from Scripture related to the suffering and death of Jesus, and then we will have a prayer. At every stop we have a reading and a prayer.”
The Rev. Roxanne Booth, co-pastor at Riverview Missionary Baptist Church, read the first passage of Scripture and recited the first prayer as the group began the Cross Walk at Faith Plaza around noon.
“We are remembering the walk that Jesus took on Good Friday to Calvary and we are reminding our community that Jesus is the way,” she said.
Calvary is a hill near Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, according to the Christian faith.