The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

85° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students of all Christian stripes observe Easter

    About 50 people gathered Friday afternoon for a Good Friday celebration held by the Newman Center.
    About 50 people gathered Friday afternoon for a Good Friday celebration held by the Newman Center.

    remembering the resurrection

    Students and faculty representing a wide range of Christian denominations observed Easter this weekend, remembering the final days, suffering, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    The celebration, which for many Christians begins in the week before Easter, was brought to campus for Good Friday, an observance of the day Jesus was crucified.

    Four different campus ministries – Catholic, Lutheran, United Methodist and Presbyterian – joined together for a Good Friday stations of the cross service that had students praying and singing across campus.

    While most Christian denominations observe Good Friday, Friday’s ecumenical, or multidenominational, celebration is something not usually seen elsewhere, said the Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath with UA’s United Methodist Ministries.

    “”I’ve been a minister for about five years now, and this is the first time I’ve participated in one,”” Azhikakath said. “”It is something unique that we get together to celebrate this holy holiday together.””

    More than 50 Christians gathered for Friday’s ceremony. Participants stopped at 14 points across campus for readings, prayer and insights from clergy and students from all four participating denominations in a campus tradition that has been around longer than anyone involved can remember.

    “”We were sitting around earlier trying to remember how many years we’ve been gathering together as Christians on this day, and none of us are old enough to remember,”” said Sister Diane Briden-Becker, who has been with the St. Thomas

    More Catholic Newman Center at the University of Arizona for six years.

    The group was led by a rotating pair of individuals who carried a large wooden cross from station to station, accompanied by the congregation solemnly singing “”Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.””

    The sight of a crowd bearing a cross and singing was one that surprised some unsuspecting students as it made its way across campus.

    “”I was startled when I sat up and I was obviously in the middle of something,”” said Melissa Martinez, an undeclared freshman who was napping outside the Psychology building at the site of the day’s fifth station. “”It just kind of popped up, but I didn’t mind it.””

    The service, which ran about an hour and took worshipers from the Catholic Newman Center, 1615 E. Second St., to the Campus Christian Center, 715 N. Park Ave., was also an opportunity to share the strength of the Christian faith with the rest of campus, said Evan Richards, an optical sciences and engineering senior.

    “”I think it’s a great witness to faith and to the Christian tradition,”” said Richards, who has spent the last two years participating in the Catholic Newman Center’s Easter ceremonies. “”That we can get a group like this together and do this and share it with the campus is really amazing.””

    Richards also attended Saturday’s Easter Vigil at the Catholic Newman Center, a three-hour ceremony led by Catholic Newman Center Director Father Bart Hutcherson that is one of the most integral religious observances in Catholicism.

    Hutcherson said the Saturday vigil is the biggest worship service of the year for the Catholic Newman Center.

    “”Everything else we do flows out of what we do Saturday night,”” he said.

    Students celebrated Christ’s resurrection yesterday by attending a number of separate Easter services throughout the day, including a United Methodist sunrise service at Gates Pass lead by the Rev. Azhikakath.

    About 50 students, members of the Ignition College Ministry, a campus outreach for the Calvary Chapel of Tucson, spent yesterday morning celebrating the glory of Christ with more than 8,000 friends and believers at Resurrection Celebration 2006 at the Tucson Convention Center Arena.

    The event feature a vibrant service and music from Christian recording artist Crystal Lewis, said Ignition treasurer Kristin Palosaari, an English junior who attended yesterday’s celebration. The gathering reinforced the nondenominational church’s message of strong Bible teachings and a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

    “”It really encourages people to get right in their lives with God and reaffirm your personal relationship with God,”” Palosaari said.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search