NEW BRITAIN - Sacred Heart Church will again allow thousands of parishioners and visitors to proclaim their faith by participating in the church’s live Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, March 30.
The annual event draws thousands to watch parishioners play out all 14 Stations of the Cross as the procession moves from the church down Broad Street to Silver Street, Orange Street and Gold Street.
At each stop, people dressed as Jesus, Mary, soldiers and others act out the scenes, with parishioners praying in Polish and English, said Msgr. Daniel J. Plocharczyk.
“It’s really something to behold,” Plocharczyk said.
Assistant Pastor Father Stanislaus Dudek suggested about 13 or 14 years ago to do a live Stations of The Cross at 9 p.m. on Good Friday - the same time the Pope does his in Rome, Plocharczyk said.
“I was a little concerned about the time because it was so late,” he said. “But I’m always willing to try anything once. Here we are 14 years later.”
The procession includes people carrying the cross and it’s not unusual to see 3,000 to 4,000 turn out as the crowd makes its way through Little Poland back to the church. Usually the same people continue to play the same roles, so the church has no lack of volunteers, Plocharczyk said.
It takes 30 to 50 actors to stage the procession, he said.
Last year, Archbishop Leonard Blair attended. He has been invited back this year, Plocharczyk said.
“People are amazed at how many people are there,” he said.
Only once in the 14 years has it rained during the procession, he said. That year, the rain started at about the seventh station and they had to duck into the church for a while, Plocharczyk said.
“Easter is early this year,” he said. “We are praying for good weather because this time of year, you never know.”
The church has Masses at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Good Friday.
The procession will start in front of the church on Broad Street at 9 p.m. Visitors are welcome.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.