A tradition in prayer


More than 100 gather to celebrate Good Friday by praying the Stations of the Cross at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

LEWISTON – Kneeling and bowed, their intoned prayers echoing throughout the basilica, about 100 people prayed the Stations of the Cross on Friday to honor the highest and holiest time of the Catholic faith.

“Once again, the church meets to follow the steps of Jesus,” said the Rev. Robert Lariviere, pastor of the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

The 14 stations portray the final hours of Jesus Christ, from being sentenced to death to being laid in the tomb. All 14 stations are depicted in scenes that line the basilica’s wall.

For an hour, Lariviere walked from station to station, extolling the lessons Jesus taught in His death. His every step and action “continues to speak to us,” Lariviere said.

Some parishioners followed Lariviere from station to station. Others stood or kneeled, their heads bowed.

After each of the 14, Lariviere led the group in the Lord’s Prayer. The words reverberated, filling the hall with sound as light streamed through the stained glass windows.

For many of the parishioners, it was a tradition they’d been fulfilling for decades. It gave them a sense of faith and community, they said. It left them feeling at peace.

“I feel that I shared with Christ the steps that he did to offer his life for us and our salvation,” said Marisa Zarate, a Spanish teacher who lives in Norway and works in Poland but traveled to Lewiston for the Stations of the Cross.

The somber service is always held on Good Friday, a prelude to a more celebratory time when Christians believe Jesus was resurrected.

“If you don’t have this,” Zarate said. “You just can’t have Easter.”