As Christians in the country joined the rest of the world to celebrate Easter Sunday, clerics reminded the faithful to always be mindful of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, urging them to honour him by keeping faith and steering clear of sin.
It was a Sunday of commemoration and joy for Christians who flocked to churches across the country to mark the resurrection of Jesus who rose on the third day after he died on the cross.
Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial, after his death at the hands of the Romans at Calvary.
On Easter Sunday, different clerics preached about the kindness Jesus manifested from the beginning when he agreed to leave the comforts of heaven, and came to earth, where lived deplorable life which led to his death without having committed any crime.
They urged the faithful to always keep their faith and remember the price that was paid to redeem the church.
“The Lord has risen from the dead and we sing his glory, Jesus died on the cross to redeem us from the curse, as we confess,” said Father Innocent Rugaravu, the main celebrant at Regina Pacis Catholic Church in Remera, Kigali.
‘Have faith, leave old ways’
Rugaravu prayed for the world and all the saints and urged Christians to always have faith.
“As we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus, let us sustain the momentum gained during lent; let us ponder on what he went through, the agony, the passion and the death as we celebrate his resurrection,” he added.
Marked for the 40 days that precedes Good Friday, Lent is a traditional doctrine of Christian spirituality that involves repentance, turning away from sin and back to God and includes some form of penance like fasting.
He urged the faithful to stick with Jesus the Savior, saying that they should never deny Christ as did his friend and one of his disciples, Peter, who denied knowing him when he was at his most critical time of suffering.
At Saint Etienne Anglican Cathedral, Bishop Louis Muvunyi preached about moral and physical strengths and soldiering on irrespective of temptations.
He gave an example of Jesus who endured all the pain and sacrificed himself but rose from the dead thus fulfilling the purpose that had brought him to earth.
“What is important therefore is to have faith that though there are temptations and suffering, Jesus conquered all and is always our redeemer,” he said
Christians speak out
Christians who attended Easter Mass at various churches said it was a joyful moment for them to celebrate Easter commemorating the resurrection of Jesus, adding that he paved a way for mankind to heaven.
“I am happy to celebrate Easter while in good health; it is a joyful moment that we remember the love and passion Jesus manifested to us and that he rose from the dead after he conquered death and he is preparing a better place for us where we will live with him,” said Anathalie Umuhire who attended Mass at Saint Famille Catholic Church in Kigali.