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Thanh Truong / Eyewitness News
Email: ttruong@wwltv.com | Twitter: @thanh412

NEW ORLEANS -- For many Catholics and Christians in metro New Orleans, Good Friday ceremonies often focus on themes of struggle and sacrifice.

In one annual ceremony, those themes literally went on display.

Antoine Barriere is the pastor at Household of Faith Church in New Orleans East. The church's annual reenactment of 'The Passion' stands as one of the most visual local observances of the Christian holy day.

With church members portraying centurions on horseback, crucifixes and a chorus, the 'Passion Live' production is a teachable one, Barriere said.

'I think the struggle shows us no matter what we're going through, that there is a brighter day. You know, we don't call it Good Friday for nothing. We all struggle, and what Christ went through teaches us that even in the greatest suffering there will be a day we can rise from it,' Barriere said.

In the Central Business District Friday, there was a similar message, but it was made through a different method. Roughly 200 people gathered at St. Joseph's Church on Tulane Avenue for the Way of the Cross/Way of Justice Procession.

Along their two-mile path, they made 14 stops to mirror the 14 Stations of the Cross.

At each stop, the faithful focused on a current social issue. One of those stops put the crowd in the shadow of what was Charity Hospital. There, those marching in the procession called for equal access to health care especially for the poor.

At others, the procession focused on other issues such as housing, consumerism and racism.

'What Jesus died for 2,000 years ago, people continue to die for and struggle with now. These are human necessities. People need health care, they need equality, they need housing. Those lessons that were taught so long ago are still relevant today,' said Don Everard of Hope House.

Both events reached milestones this year. For household of Faith Church, this marks the 10th year for its 'Passion Live' reenactment.

The Way of the Cross/Way of Justice Procession is marking its 31st year.

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