Published: Mar 29, 2013 5:23 PM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis is sitting in silent prayer during this year's Good Friday procession, which is re-enacting Christ's crucifixion and recalling the wars and "violent fundamentalism" that are devastating the Middle East today.
The Good Friday procession at Rome's Colosseum is one of the most dramatic rituals of Holy Week, when Christians commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ.
The 76-year-old Francis chose not to walk the procession itself, but was sitting in prayer overlooking the route and was to deliver some remarks at the end.
This year, the meditations read out at each of the stations of the cross were composed by young Lebanese faithful. Many of the prayers referred to the plight of Christians in the Middle East and called for religious freedom and an end to the terrorism.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)