PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Around the world, Christians are marking Good Friday, traditionally recognized as the day Jesus Christ was crucified. It's a day that calls the faithful together.
"Good Friday is celebrated by Christians worldwide," said Rev. David Young, who serves as pastor of both Grace Lutheran Church and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
Good Friday is a day on the Christian calendar that is both special and somber.
"It probably is the most sacred and holiest day of the church calendar," said Young, "because if Christ doesn't go to the cross and fulfill the mission that his heavenly father sent him, then there is no resurrection on Easter Sunday."
As Young made preparations at Grace Lutheran Church in Warminster, worshippers were gathering at St. Mark's Reformed Episcopal Church in Jenkintown. Dozens of people gathered in that church's sanctuary to participate in the Good Friday service.
In addition to the afternoon services, many churches are also holding evening services for Good Friday.
In churches across the area, worshippers are back together after three years of worries and restrictions brought on by COVID.
"When we were in COVID, we used to have this theme we're bringing God's house to your house," said Bishop Keith Reed Sr., who serves as Senior Pastor of Sharon Baptist Church in Wynnefield Heights. "Now people are being able to come back to God's house."
The noon Good Friday message at Sharon Baptist Church was delivered by seven female ministers who spoke on a significant subject.
"The seven last words of Jesus Christ from the cross," said Reed.
Those words are also significant to Catholics who attended the Good Friday service at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City. The Basilica also had three hours of prayer to symbolize the three hours that Jesus hung on the cross.
The weight of Good Friday is balanced by the anticipation of Easter Sunday, as different denominations hold the same hope.
"The joy that Easter brings," said Young.
"It gives hope," said Reed. "It gives encouragement."