Christians across Maine gathered in their local churches Friday for a series of liturgies marking the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Good Friday services are part of the Holy Week rites that began with Palm Sunday and conclude with the celebration of the Resurrection on Sunday.

At St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gardiner, part of St. Michael Parish, Deacon Jeff Lewis and Clarence McKay led about 75 parishioners through the 14 Stations of the Cross, moving around the interior of the church, praying and singing at each as they depict Calvary, the crucifixion and the entombment of Christ.

The sadness of Good Friday gives way to joy on Easter, with a number of local churches offering sunrise services, including Vassalboro United Methodist Church, which plans 6 a.m. services Sunday at the boat landing in East Vassalboro; and Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, at 6:30 a.m. at the Hallowell Boat Landing, weather permitting.

This year, the Gregorian calendar used by most Western churches and the Julian calendar used in Eastern Orthodox churches coincide on the date of Easter, so churches in both rites celebrate Easter on the same day.

The Pascal Service at St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church in Richmond begins at 11:10 p.m. Saturday.

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