Good Friday's message 'more relevant than at any other time,' for many Toronto Christians
It was a solemn day for many in Toronto's Christian community who took to the streets to commemorate what is believed to be the death of Jesus on Good Friday.
Hundreds turned out to annual processions at the University of Toronto and in Little Italy to reenact the stations of the cross, symbolizing what Christians hold to be the path Jesus walked before the moment of his crucifixion.
And for Cardinal Thomas Collins the day was especially poignant, coming less than a week after twin bombings tore through Palm Sunday services in Egypt, claiming the lives of at least 44 Coptic Christians there and injuring at least another 100.
"Today is a very solemn day in the life of Christians because we commemorate the death of the Lord. We see the Lord, God himself, coming into our world and experiencing the violence which we go through. In the midst of that violence he brings love and compassion," the cardinal said.
Participating in procession makes faith personal, say some
"And I think we see that just recently of the terrible murder and massacre of those wonderful faithful Christians in Egypt. They responded with singing songs of love and faith and that is the way Christ teaches us on Good Friday."
Daniel Mammarella was among those who turned out to mark the day.
He says Good Friday's meaning is "more relevant today than any other time."
"Throughout history, whenever society opposes Christianity, we have to stand up and say, 'Yes, I'm going to be a Christian, despite what people think.'"
Participating in the procession brings home the symbolism in Mammarella's life, he said.
"You see a lot of things in movies but I have to make it my own. So when I do the readings for the way of the cross that we're doing right now, it brings me always back to the origin to my Catholic faith and how important it is for me every moment."
For Sasha Hellwig, who became Catholic last year, the day had added personal meaning. She'll be confirmed into the Church this Sunday.
"This procession is really special for me because it really commemorates that Jesus died for my sins, and that I'm able to live that out through my life."