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Area Catholics Celebrate Good Friday By Creating Traditional Guatemalan 'Alfombra'

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Incense is waved over the alfombra depicting Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection Catholics will remember this weekend.
Armando Trull
Incense is waved over the alfombra depicting Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection Catholics will remember this weekend.

Thousands of Catholic worshipers marched from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Takoma Park to Saint Camillus church in Silver Spring, Md., on the day Christians refer to as "Good Friday." They commemorate the journey made by Jesus Christ to Mount Calvary before his crucifixion. 

They were greeted by a Guatemalan carpet known as an "alfombra."  I it is made off wood shavings, sawdust and grains of rice dyed in every color of the rainbow. The images portray Christ on the cross, the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus, and even Pope Francis.

Several dozen Guatemalan worshipers of all ages worked on the carpet for hours. They explain that in ancient times, kings walked on similar carpets. They believe Jesus himself did it as well.

The procession will walk on it, essentially scattering the sawdust and the grains of rice to all four corners of the wind, but those worshipers say it's OK. They believe this represents the need to keep the faith in the face of adversity, in the same way that Jesus did it on his way to Mount Calvary.

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