BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – In a rare occurrence, three major holy days of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all being observed on the same day. The faithful say they are keeping messages of resilience, liberty, and faith in mind. Messages that many who attended today’s services say the world needs to hear now more than ever.
Jimmy Millan is a seminarian doing his internship year with the Dioceses of Fresno. This Good Friday, the priest-to-be leads parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seeten Catholic Church in a service that remembers all 14 stations of the Passion of the Christ.
“It’s three days so that we can enter suffering thru Jesus,” said Millan. “We are accompanying everyone else going thru their suffering in daily life so that we can accompany them just as Jesus is there for us.”
Litzalla Bonellie-Yoakum and Monica Anderson are two of the faithful that arrived Friday morning to commemorate the holy day.
“If it hadn’t been for our faith, we would not have made it through,” said Bonellie-Yoakum. “It sustained us all.”
This year, they are carrying with them the suffering of those who lost someone during the pandemic and displaced Ukrainians.
“I’m praying now more than I was then,” said Anderson.
Over at St. Agustine Parish, a dramatic revival of the Passion of the Christ took Lamont residents thru the 14 stations. Teens dressed as roman soldiers push around a teen dressed in a bloody tunic wearing a crown of thorns while carrying a life-size wooden cross.
For those that were stuck at work but still wanted to commemorate the holy day, Canyon Hills Church held a lunch hour service.
“It brings us hope,” said Nikki Shorr, a spokesperson with Canyon hills. “With the burden of whatever is going on, we have hope in Jesus Christ.”
In the southwest, seder plates and the foods that symbolize the Exodus of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt are being set with an extra message at Chabad of Bakersfield.
“It’s a very significant time that we live in,” said Rabbi Shmuel Schlanger. “It’s a special time to think of those oppressed and a time to think of freedom.”
Ramadan is the holy month that Muslims observe, which is underway.