Brian Snyder/Reuters – Holy Week

A look at Holy Week celebrations in the southwestern United States, around Taos, New Mexico. The high desert of northern New Mexico, with Taos as its unofficial capital, is a confluence of cultures and eras. Native American, Spanish, Mexican and American cultures co-exist and show themselves in both modern and old ways. Holy Week in this area is celebrated in a very public manner within the safety of the region, beyond the notice of much of the rest of the United States. The rites and customs are very much of the place and cultures found there.

The faithful follow Hermanos from La Morada de Santa Cruz in a procession to Mass at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz,  New Mexico March 28, 2013.  The Hermanos are part of a centuries old lay Catholic group of men in northern New Mexico.

The faithful follow Hermanos from La Morada de Santa Cruz in a procession to Mass at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Santa Cruz, New Mexico March 28, 2013. The Hermanos are part of a centuries old lay Catholic group of men in northern New Mexico.

Girls, dressed for the role of Veronica, fix each other's veils between Good Friday religious ceremonies at the Morada de Talpa  in Talpa, New Mexico March 29, 2013.  A morada is an unsanctified chapel where the Hermanos, a centuries old lay Catholic group of men in northern New Mexico, worship.

Girls, dressed for the role of Veronica, fix each other’s veils between Good Friday religious ceremonies at the Morada de Talpa in Talpa, New Mexico March 29, 2013. A morada is an unsanctified chapel where the Hermanos, a centuries old lay Catholic group of men in northern New Mexico, worship.

Men carrying a large cross lead a Good Friday pilgrimage in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico March 29, 2013.  Several hundred followers of the Catholic Church walked a pilgrimage celebrating the Stations of the Cross from the San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church, through Ranchos de Taos and the remote village Talpa, New Mexico.

Men carrying a large cross lead a Good Friday pilgrimage in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico March 29, 2013. Several hundred followers of the Catholic Church walked a pilgrimage celebrating the Stations of the Cross from the San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church, through Ranchos de Taos and the remote village Talpa, New Mexico.

Volunteers take down a cross following a Stations of the Cross stop during a Good Friday pilgrimage in Talpa, New Mexico March 29, 2013.  Several hundred followers of the Catholic Church walked a pilgrimage celebrating the Stations of the Cross from the San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church, through Ranchos de Taos and the remote village Talpa,  New Mexico.

Volunteers take down a cross following a Stations of the Cross stop during a Good Friday pilgrimage in Talpa, New Mexico March 29, 2013. Several hundred followers of the Catholic Church walked a pilgrimage celebrating the Stations of the Cross from the San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church, through Ranchos de Taos and the remote village Talpa, New Mexico.

Students playing the role of the women of Jerusalem, the eighth Station, wait to begin a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico March 28, 2013.  The students are part of a youth group from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Bernalillo, New Mexico which re-enacts the Stations of the Cross every year.

Students playing the role of the women of Jerusalem, the eighth Station, wait to begin a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico March 28, 2013. The students are part of a youth group from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Bernalillo, New Mexico which re-enacts the Stations of the Cross every year.

Students playing the roles of Roman soldiers place a man playing the role of Jesus (C) on a cross during a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico March 28, 2013.  The students are part of a youth group from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Bernalillo, New Mexico which re-enacts the Stations of the Cross every year.

Students playing the roles of Roman soldiers place a man playing the role of Jesus (C) on a cross during a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico March 28, 2013. The students are part of a youth group from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Bernalillo, New Mexico which re-enacts the Stations of the Cross every year.

Parishioners sit in pews for Easter Mass outside the full San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico March 31, 2013.

Parishioners sit in pews for Easter Mass outside the full San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico March 31, 2013.

A girl carries out the crucifix after Easter Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Taos, New Mexico March 31, 2013.

A girl carries out the crucifix after Easter Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Taos, New Mexico March 31, 2013.

Students playing the role of the women of Jerusalem, the eighth Station, wait to begin a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico March 28, 2013.  The students are part of a youth group from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Bernalillo, New Mexico which re-enacts the Stations of the Cross every year.

Students playing the role of the women of Jerusalem, the eighth Station, wait to begin a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico March 28, 2013. The students are part of a youth group from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Bernalillo, New Mexico which re-enacts the Stations of the Cross every year.

A man playing the role of Jesus (R) is crucified, as a student playing the role of a Roman soldier stands behind him, during a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico March 28, 2013.   The students are part of a youth group from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Bernalillo, New Mexico which re-enacts the Stations of the Cross every year.

A man playing the role of Jesus (R) is crucified, as a student playing the role of a Roman soldier stands behind him, during a re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico March 28, 2013. The students are part of a youth group from Our Lady of Sorrows church in Bernalillo, New Mexico which re-enacts the Stations of the Cross every year.

The clergy and the congregation walk in a evening Adoration of the Cross outside the Holy Cross Catholic Church on Good Friday in Santa Cruz, New Mexico March 29, 2013.

The clergy and the congregation walk in a evening Adoration of the Cross outside the Holy Cross Catholic Church on Good Friday in Santa Cruz, New Mexico March 29, 2013.