Roses are prepared to adorn a large statue of the Virgin of Suyapa, the patroness of Honduras, a day prior to the saint’s feast day mass at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church. The standing-room only crowd worshipped in a mix of Spanish and English as the statue was paraded on the shoulders of male parishioners.
REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE DUST
A year of faith and ritual in New Orleans
A Good Friday crawfish boil is a local tradition commonly seen throughout the city.
A Stations of the Cross procession held by Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church winds through St. Roch Cemetery, or Campo Sant, on Good Friday.
On the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, parishioners were welcomed back into a rebuilt Beacon Light International Baptist Cathedral for the first time since a levee breach at the London Avenue Canal, located three blocks away, decimated the neighborhood following the 2005 storm.
Nepalese students at the University of New Orleans celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi, which marks the arrival of spring. Now in its fourth year, the event includes cultural performances from around South Asia and the traditional throwing of colored powder.
Children lead the procession of icons at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The celebration marks the decision by the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in A.D. 787 to once again allow icons for use in services and the private life of Christians.
Celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2014, Holy Trinity is the oldest Greek Orthodox congregation in the Americas.
Palm fronds setup in the entrance to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church prior to a Palm Sunday mass conducted in Portuguese.
The Redemptorist fathers of St. Mary’s Assumption Church wash the feet of parishioners on Maundy Thursday. The Holy Week ritual commemorates Jesus washing the feet of his apostles on the eve of his death.
A flambeaux carrier lights the way for the Mystic Krewe of Hermes Mardi Gras parade. Part of the weeks-long Carnival celebration, the revelry concludes with the Christian observance of the beginning of Lent.
At small family cemeteries scattered throughout the pine forests of Lacombe, La., relatives spend All Saint’s Day applying fresh white paint to tombs, redrawing hand-lettered names and lighting candles. With a proud history of Creole and Native American lineage and intermarriage, residents here hold to traditions distinct from the surrounding communities.
Prayer clocks, black seed products and robes are set out for sale in front of the Islamic Center of New Orleans ahead of Friday prayers.
A banner congratulating President Barack Obama in Swahili hangs in the entranceway to the Voodoo Spiritual Temple and Cultural Center in the French Quarter.
The Bless You Boys, three New Orleans Saints fans that dress as popes on game day, preside over an effigy burning of the day’s NFL opponent.
A St. Joseph’s Day altar is brought to life as part of the saint’s feast day parade through the French Quarter. The city’s deep Sicilian roots ensure many old country traditions are still practiced in the week surrounding March 19.
The evening of St. Joseph’s feast day is one of only three appearances made by the city’s Mardi Gras Indian tribes throughout the year. The Indian’s elaborate, hand-stitched suits draw large crowds to the Central City neighborhood in a blending of Sicilian Catholicism and the local African-American Indian masking tradition.
A picture of the Dalai Lama is a unique addition to the St. Joseph’s Day altar at the Lost Love Lounge, a neighborhood bar in the Marigny. While typically displayed in Catholic churches, altars are also constructed in private homes which are then opened to the public, as well as in many Italian-owned businesses.
A large crowd watches a fireworks display at the three-day celebration of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, held by Mary Queen of Vietnam Church in New Orleans East.
A wooden statue of Our Lady of Victories is displayed at the Old Ursuline Convent in the French Quarter. Brought to New Orleans in 1727, the statue accompanied the original group of Ursuline nuns sent to the city by King Louis XV of France. The nuns continue to operate Ursuline Academy, the oldest Catholic school in the United States.
A young member of Temple Sinai dips parsley into salt water, one of the symbolic steps of a Passover seder. Founded in 1870, the Reform temple is the largest Jewish congregation in Louisiana.
A participant in the 15th annual Gay Easter Parade waves to the crowd gathered in the French Quarter. The costume-filled event has raised over $200,000 for charity over the last 13 years.
A room at the Prytania Street site of Soka Gakkai International. Practicing Nichiren Buddhism of Japanese origin, followers believe that the “greatest satisfaction and fulfillment in life is realized by working for the happiness of others.”
A member of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church re-paints the massive iron anchor in front of the Lutheran congregation’s Uptown church.
The collection plate is passed at the ninth annual Earth Day service held by the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalists. The three Unitarian congregations in the city developed close ties in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and worship as one for the outdoor service.
NOPD mounted patrol joined dozens of dogs, cats and turtles at the annual "blessing of the pets" service held by St. Anna's Episcopal Church on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.
On a Central City street corner prone to violent crime, a man set up amplifiers and religious signage to preach peace to passersby.