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Amid newfound hope, Utah Christians take to the streets for Good Friday procession

After COVID canceled last year’s Salt Lake City march, vaccinations and warm weather revived spirits for Easter weekend.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Anthony Estrada takes a turn carrying the cross as mask wearing Utah Christians walk the streets of Salt Lake City beginning at Cathedral of the Madeleine on Good Friday, to symbolically mark Jesus' carrying the cross to his crucifixion, April 2, 2021.

This year, Good Friday was a better Friday.

Certainly better than last year, when the early days of the coronavirus pandemic shut down many Holy Week activities and traditions, including the annual interfaith Procession of the Cross through downtown Salt Lake City.

This year, though, with vaccinations rising and COVID-19 cases falling, warm temperatures and new hope filled the air as mask-wearing Utah Christians once again took to the streets and symbolically retraced Jesus’ steps to Golgotha, with participants taking turns bearing the cross.

The caravan — a pre-Easter staple since 1983 — started at the majestic Cathedral of the Madeleine before proceeding down South Temple to the stately First Presbyterian Church, followed by stops at the Crossroads Food Pantry and the historic First United Methodist Church.

The procession concluded at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, where collections were taken for Crossroads.

At each location, hymns were to be sung, scriptures shared and prayers offered.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Maurice Mede and his wife, Audrey, take a turn carrying the cross as mask-wearing Utah Christians walk the streets of Salt Lake City beginning at Cathedral of the Madeleine on Good Friday to symbolically mark Jesus' carrying the cross to his crucifixion. April 2, 2021.

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