Many parishioners at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa spent Good Friday praying at the “Stations of the Cross,” 14 devotions or stations that focus on Jesus’ last day on Earth as a man.  

“The stations of the cross is reenacting a pilgrimage of the Holy Land. Many of us are not able to go to the Holy Land so we are remembering the Via Dolorosa, the way of the cross,” said parishioner Bridget White. 

The stations focus on the 14 events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion, starting with his condemnation. Throughout his journey, Jesus carries his cross, meets his mother, is stripped naked and is crucified. 

“As a Christian, we commemorate this as a time to remember and to be thankful and in thanksgiving and preparation for the Easter joy, the resurrection,” said White.

According to Father Chuck Dornquast, Good Friday is the day that changed everything.  

“God became flesh and out of love for us, he didn’t just send us a get well soon card, he didn’t say oh I love you guys from a distance, he decided to die, he decided to lay down his life and take our burdens, sin and shame upon him.”

At the final station, Jesus is laid in the tomb. On Sunday, people around the world will celebrate his resurrection.

“The fact that as a human being he wasn’t defeated by death, that he rose, changes everything. No human being in the history of the world has ever conquered death and yet he has,” said Father Dornquast.

Today is a solemn day at the church, but Easter will be a celebration.

“We’ve been kind of waiting and now it’s time to party and celebrate the resurrection,” said White.