Thursday evening, a giant 19-foot high purple-draped cross was erected in Chicago’s Daley Plaza as the initial event of an Easter season observance that includes a nine-day prayer vigil, an Easter morning sunrise service and the display of an oversized image of the resurrected Jesus Christ (known as the Divine Mercy).
“The Easter cross and the image of the risen Jesus Christ represent a constitutionally protected expression of faith - the observance of the resurrection - by private citizens in a public forum," explained Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, which joined with private citizens to co-sponsor the “Jesus in Daley Plaza” display.
“These Easter displays are privately funded and sponsored, bereft of any government aid or endorsement, and therefore are clothed and armored with the full protection of the First Amendment of our U.S. Constitution,” Brejcha says.
The event will run around the clock through Sunday, April 23. On Easter Sunday, an interdenominational music and prayer service will be held, during which the drapery on the cross will be changed to white, traditionally symbolizing renewed life.