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Good Friday in Carroll Gardens

Former and present parishioners will gather at Brooklyn’s oldest Italian parish, Sacred Hearts and St. Stephen Church,  Carroll Gardens, to solemnly process through the streets on Good Friday, April 6, beginning at 7 p.m.
While the neighborhood has seen much change since the parish’s founding by Italian immigrants in 1882, this time- honored tradition and devotion continues to be a staple of what Carroll Gardens is all about. Taking into account disappearing mom and pop stores, multimillion-dollar price tags on area homes, and a changing population, it is a wonder that such a tradition has persevered. One neighborhood change along the procession path is the former Cabrini Chapel, once owned by the parish, recently re-launched as “The Landmark on Strong Place” Condos.
Those participating have been asked to display a cross in front of their homes along the route, which can be found online at mariaaddolorata.com.
The procession will begin in front of Sacred Hearts and St. Stephen Church and conclude there for a brief prayer service in Italian.
Parish historian John Heyer has noted, “It is events like this in our city and borough that preserve not only the faith of its citizens, but also the identity of individual neighborhoods which preserve the small town character in such a large metropolis.”
Good Friday is the day on which Catholics believe Jesus  suffered and was crucified for the sins of humanity. The Good Friday Procession, which has its roots in the small towns of Italy, recalls the passion of Christ by way of symbolic statuary representing Jesus and Mary, traditional Italian hymns, a traditional Italian funeral band, and men, women and children who re-enact the last steps of Christ to His tomb by candlelight.
Six-Deacade-Long Tradition
The statuary symbolizing both the body of Christ and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows, have been used in the parish procession for 60 years. The parish’s Congregation of Our Lady of Sorrows is comprised of members from the town of Mola in Bari, Italy.
The two figures of Jesus and Mary are carried on the shoulders of the faithful accompanied by singing and music through the crowded streets. The bearers of the statuary re-enact the death of Christ by having the coffin of Jesus meet at the feet of Mary three times before returning into Church.

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