HUNTER Christians have stood solemly to commemorate one of the most important dates on the church calendar, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
More than 100 worshippers of all ages lined the pews of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newcastle West on Good Friday at 3pm, which is traditionally regarded as the time of Jesus' death; to listen to a reading of the events that led to the crucifixion - also known as the Lord's Passion - and to venerate a cross.
Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright said Good Friday was a day of mourning - but also an opportunity to be thankful.
"We might feel sorrow that this man suffered like that," Bishop Wright told the congregation.
"We might feel some measure of outrage that a good man was treated so unjustly.
"I think though we are really asked - on this day of remembrance of what Jesus went through and his passion and dying - above all is to feel immense gratitude, to give thanks for the God who was prepared to come among us in the flesh and in the flesh to suffer and die for us."
Bishop Wright told the congregation the cross was, for Jesus, an instrument of torture and death.
"It [also] stands there for us as a reminder of the depth of Jesus' commitment and love for us.
"We approach it with reverence. Kiss the cross, touch it, genuflect before it.
"Recognise there the memory, the fact, of what Jesus has done for us.
"And so it is truly a Good Friday. The cross itself becomes a sign of a great lesson and a great good that God bestowed on his world through the faithfulness and love of his incarnate son."
Worshippers prayed for the church, Pope Francis, people preparing for baptism or confirmation, the unity of Christians, Jewish people, people who don't believe in Christ and God, those in public office and those experiencing tribulation.
They also contributed funds to be sent to members of the Franciscan religious order, who look after holy places in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, as well as to support the communities in those areas.
Services will be held on Sunday to mark Jesus' resurrection.