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New Yorkers Prepare for Easter with Solemn Good Friday Observance

By DNAinfo Staff on April 7, 2012 1:54pm

 By Paul Lomax

Special to DNAinfo

MANHATTAN - Christians marked the most solemn day of the year with Good Friday services commemorating the Crucifixion in anticipation of Easter.

In Upper Manhattan, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish reenacted the Way of the Cross through the streets of Inwood with a procession that included more than 1,000 people, police and parish officials estimated.

"We do this procession every year on Good Friday to show our devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ," said Fr. Antonio Almonte, the church’s pastor.

Sixteen-year-old Chantel Paulino came from the Bronx to attend the pageant, which has been held for 25 years.

"I've been coming to this procession every year,” she said.  “It's like a family tradition.”

The procession culminated with a re-creation of Christ’s crucifixion in front of the church.

Construction worker Pedro Martinez, 48, said he has helped out with the Good Friday spectacle for more than 20 years.

"I love doing this every year,” Martinez said.  “To me it's like celebrating what Jesus Christ did for us over 2000 years ago, how he suffered for our sins and brought love to earth.

At St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown, Cardinal Timothy Dolan is scheduled to celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass at 8 p.m. Saturday as well as the 10:15 a.m. Mass on Easter Sunday.

Seven other masses scheduled at St. Patrick’s on Easter Sunday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 8:45 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 4 p.m. (in Spanish) and 5:30 p.m.