NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Christians around the world commemorated the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ in Good Friday services, including a Way of the Cross procession across the Brooklyn Bridge.

For many Chrisitians, the long weekend is considered the holiest time of the year, reports CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge.

Hundreds of faithful began today with mass at St. James Cathedral Basilica in Brooklyn. They spent the morning preparing to walk the Way of the Cross, symbolizing Jesus’ suffering as he to carried his cross to Mount Calvary where he died.

“So it’s a day we remember Christ’s death and it’s a day we remember many other innocent people who have died in the world today,” said Bishop Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio of the diocese of Brooklyn.

For the first time, Joshua Layugan has the special honor of carrying the wooden cross.

“To me, it means carrying the intentions of those that I love in the world, and for myself, just being myself in front of the love that I’ve been blessed to see,” said Layugan.

Hundreds could be seen walking the two-mile silent journey across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The procession paused at five stations along the way for music, readings and reflection on the most solemn day of year.

“We’re here to reflect and meditate on that, and it becomes a public witness to that very historical and actual act,” said John Bartlett, a retired firefighter.

New York City’s version of this worldwide tradition started in 1996 with two dozen people, and each year it grows.

“It’s certainly a heartwarming crowd,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “It’s a significant crowd there’s usually over 1,000 people that begin here and they pick up people along the way.”

The group next moved onto the next station at Zuccotti Park, before final prayers at St. Peters Church.