BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC-TV) – Thousands of Christians across Southwest Louisiana spent much of this Good Friday reflecting about Jesus Christ dying on the cross, but also about the world in which they live today.
Dozens of parishioners showed up for Good Friday services at St. Henry Catholic Church in Lake Charles. Good Friday is commemorated because Christians believe Jesus Christ died on a Friday and rose on Sunday.
While many believe the day should be solemn, given the fact that Christ died, Associate Pastor Father Ruben Buller said Good Friday is really a celebration for Christians.
"We call it Good Friday because it was a good thing that Christ saved us from sin and death," said Buller.
As is customary in many Catholic churches, services started with the Stations of the Cross, a symbolic journey that takes parishioners through the final moments of Jesus' life.
After the Stations of the Cross, veneration was held, giving the faithful time to reflect, repent and pray. In some churches, parishioners show respect to the cross by touching or kissing it.
"So many tragedies happen these days," said Everlee Bartie, a parishioner. "We're here to…give thanks to God for the many blessings he has restored upon us."
"God died for us, for all our sins and saved us from the devil," said Mabel St. Romain, a parishioner who said she always comes to the Good Friday and Easter celebrations each year.