Christians around the world are observing Good Friday - the most solemn day on the church calendar.
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Here in the city, many are reenacting the Stations of the Cross, marking the journey of Jesus as he was led to his crucifixion.
Several participants linked the events to social issues facing the world today.
"It's a gathering of very faithful people who are basically concerned deeply about the issues of justice and charity in our society," said Bishop Joseph Sullivan of Brooklyn.
I find it a worthy cause, make the public aware of things that the body of faith is concerned about."
Holy Week culminates with Easter Sunday, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Meanwhile, Jews are preparing for the start of Passover.
The eight-day festival gets underway at sundown Friday.
Passover marks the Jewish exodus from Egypt.
Families traditionally gather for a seder dinner, where they retell the story of the escape from slavery, through the plagues, and to the parting of the Red Sea.