Cherry Hill, NJ – With their church filled to capacity and in near darkness, candles illuminated the church for most of the service. Red rose petals covered the floor and the smell of incense filled the air as the somber congregation of St. Thomas Greek Orthodox church observed Good Friday services.

Young children dressed in white circled the Epitafio while the choir sang hymns. The procession was led by church President Stathis Karandonis carrying a wooden cross, who was followed by his Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and local clergy. Quietly the congregation, while holding lit candles, circled the church and then reentered after passing below the Epitafio.

On Great and Holy Friday the Orthodox Church commemorates the death of Christ on the Cross. This is the culmination of the observance of His Passion by which our Lord suffered and died for our sins.