Christians across the country yesterday trekked long distances and attended prayers to commemorate Good Friday, one of Christianity’s most sacred days.
The faithful carried the cross depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and often made stopovers to symbolise how heavy the cross that He carried was as well as the pain that Christ endured.
At Saint Vincent Pallotti, Christians walked for about one hour singing hymns and praying. Some carried images of Jesus, while others could be seen with small crosses in their hands.
Good Friday is the fifth day of the Passion Week or Holy Week observed as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday proceeding Easter Sunday.
“This is the time we reflect on the love Jesus loved us and I recommit myself to reunite with Him and do what He wants me to do,” said Agnes Uwimanimpaye, who joined other Christians at Saint Vincent Pallotti in Gikondo.
We have had enough time during this holy week, she said, “and we prayed a lot to have our sins washed away by the blood of Jesus.”
“We also heard from priests that the more we sin the more Jesus suffers and as I reflect on the death of our Lord, I also decide to avoid sinning and pray hard.”
Emmanuel Imanishimwe, another Christian, said; “We are remembering the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross, how he was betrayed and how we should shun sinning because it is betraying him again. This is an important day for us as Christians, to reflect on how Jesus fell and died on the cross for us to raise.”
Repent and pardon
At EAR Remera Church, Bishop Emmanuel Kolini preached to the congregation about repenting and forgiving one another.
“As we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ, how He was betrayed and killed, there is a godly opportunity for sinners, including killers, to feel remorse for the sins they have committed and for the victims to forgive,” he preached.
He was also referring to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi where more than one million people were killed in 100 days.
Bishop Kolini encouraged Genocide perpetrators to ask for pardon and the victims to prepare their hearts to forgive.
“Rwanda faced a tragic history of genocide where many people were killed. We should know that history but go along with the new chapter. If there are those whose hearts are still tied, they should be detached, embrace godly values, ask for forgiveness and also give pardon,” he said.
Considering the history of Jesus Christ, he said, the world has faced similar circumstances where people betray one another, and kill others.
Look at the open arms of Christ crucified, and let Him save you. Contemplate His blood shed out of love and let yourself be purified by it. In this way you can be reborn. #GoodFriday— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 19, 2019
“People should re-examine themselves and repent their sins. Love yourself, your relatives, country and humanity in general. Embrace the love of God and leave a good legacy for the next generation,” he stressed.
In his message, Pope Francis urged Christians to reflect on the open arms of Christ crucified and “let Him save you”.
“Contemplate His blood shed out of love and let yourself be purified by it. In this way you can be reborn,” he said on his twitter handle.