Group commemorates Good Friday with unique worship narrative

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WEST VALLEY CITY -- Christians around the world attended Good Friday services Friday, and many Utahns are among them.

The women of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in West Valley City not only performed traditional observances, they did so in a unique way.

Christians consider Good Friday a day of solemn remembrance of the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Those who belong to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church were led through this emotional pilgrimage called the "Stations of the Cross" by 14 voices from a perspective not usually heard: the women who knew Jesus.

"At St. Stephen's we very much are impressed with the idea that women were part of Jesus' life, that they were followers and supporters of Jesus. But their story doesn't get told. This seemed like the right time to tell the women's story," said Judy Carter. She is the director and producer of "Women of the Passion," the composition the group is reciting.

What is... Good Friday?
Good Friday is a day observed by Christians commemorating the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The holiday falls three days before Easter Sunday, which celebrates Christ's resurrection.

Those biblical women portrayed include a woman who was disabled; the widow with the mites; Mary, mother of Jesus; and Mary Magdelene. They held this service Wednesday evening and were pleased that the pews included those beyond their congregation.

Rev. Lee Shaw, pastor of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, said, "We've had people come who are not members of St. Stephen's, and so we've had a number of folks from the broader community come and share in this as well with us."

They believe that before they can celebrate the resurrection, commemorated on Easter Sunday, they need to contemplate in very personal ways the sacred nature of the crucifixion.

"Women of the Passion" was written by Katie Sherrod, a journalist in Fort Worth, Texas. Many congregations around the country have adopted it.


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