Illawarra parishes to come together for Good Friday

For the first time, Catholics from three Illawarra parishes will join to mark the death of Christ at the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.

An outdoor service will be held at 10am at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, where Bishop Peter Ingham plans to lead the flock in prayer to the backdrop of a mural on the life of Jesus, painted by St Mary Star of the Sea College students.

Parishioners from Wollongong, Fairy Meadow, Balgownie and Gwynneville will follow a procession through each of the 14 stations. Twelve crosses have been made and fixed into the ground.

The stations include Jesus's multiple falls while carrying the cross, an encounter between Jesus and his mother and the crucifixion.

Bishop Ingham said he expected a large crowd. "People identify with Good Friday and they want to do some devotional act to commemorate the death of Christ."

Other Christian communities will gather in their own acts of devotion, while Buddhists organise Buddha's birthday at the Nan Tien Temple.

■ EASTER SERVICE TIMES

St Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Wollongong

Thursday: 7.30pm - Mass

Friday: 10am - Stations of the Cross

Saturday: 7.30pm - Easter Vigil Mass

Sunday: 7am, 10.30am and 5pm - Mass

St Michael's Anglican Cathedral

Thursday: 7.30pm - Holy Communion

Friday: 8am - Traditional Service, 10am - Family Service

Sunday: 8am - Holy Communion, 10am and 5pm - Family Service, 7pm - Contemporary Service

Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross

Thursday: 7pm - Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Friday: 4pm, Service of the Removal of the Body of Jesus from the Cross, 7pm - Service of the Burial of Jesus

Saturday: 6am - Vespers and Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great, 11pm to 2.30am Sunday - Sunday Resurrection Service and Divine Liturgy

Buddha's Birthday, Nan Tien Temple

Friday to Sunday: 9am to 5pm - Exhibitions, Calligraphy, Arts and Craft, Vegetarian Food Fair, 12.30pm - Children's Buddha's Birthday Party (booking required), 11am to 3pm - Buddha's Birthday Education Project

■ SHOPPING

Wollongong Central

Friday: CLOSED

Saturday: 9am to 4pm

Sunday: CLOSED

Monday: 10am to 4pm

Stockland Shellharbour

Friday: CLOSED

Saturday: 9am to 4pm

Sunday: 10am to 4pm

Monday: 10am to 4pm

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