People adjust Good Friday traditions amid COVID-19 outbreak


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Friday, April 10, is Good Friday but a very different one than New Mexico is used to.

Usually tens of thousands of people would be making the pilgrimage to Santuario De Chimayo and Tome Hill to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. But this year because of the COVID-19, state officials are telling people to stay home.

For the faithful, it’s a day to reflect, and sacrifice. While most people decided against participating in the centuries-old tradition because of the outbreak, there were a few people who made the pilgrimage solo.

“I’m making my pilgrimage to Santurario De Chimayo like I do every year. Pretty much, it’s Good Friday, this is what I do,” said Ray Griego. “Tradition. Culture. That’s always been big in northern New Mexico.”

Usually, you’ll see walkers and large crowds on freeways and country roads on their way to Santuario De Chimayo during Holy Week. But on this Good Friday, Chimayo was empty and closed off.

The state put signs on the freeways that said, ‘walkers go home.’ A lot of people also stayed away from Tome Hill.

In Albuquerque, it was a similar scene with people forced to change how they recognize Good Friday. “Getting in touch via Facetime and what else with our family members, taking communion at home, and doing things like that to celebrate,” said Melissa Jaecks of Albuquerque.

The San Felipe De Neri Church in Old Town was empty. People going to the Immaculate Conception Church downtown were met with closed doors and a sign saying there are no more public services until public notice.

Bigger Christian churches like Calvary Church and Legacy looked like a ghost town. Both are suspending in-person services until at least the end of April, complying with government orders. Most churches are holding Good Friday and Easter services online, some are doing a drive through Sunday service.

There is no word yet on when the Archdiocese of Santa Fe will reschedule the pilgrimages. It’s all based on the outbreak and the risk to parishioners.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resources

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