Easter celebrations begin with "washing of the feet"

  The start to the Easter celebrations began last night with various churches in Samoa holding evening services.

The Immaculate Conception Cathedral at Mulivai was amongst those that held a mass last night to mark Holy Thursday.

The Catholic service was led by Fr. Muliau Stowers and was attended by congregation members from Matautu, Saleufi and Togafuafua, Taufusi and Saint Anthony.

Fr. Stowers said that the main purpose of the service is to commemorate the last supper and re-enact Jesus washing his apostles' feet.

"We also gather to give thanks to God for his love, the gift of Jesus and to honor the sacrifice which our Lord and savior made so we sinners could be forgiven.

"It is a time for love, forgiveness and mercy," he added.

A member of the congregation, Julia Dorothy Apineru, told the Samoa Observer that the significance of Easter for her is "forgiveness".

"As a Christian, commemorating Easter is very important. It is a time to forgive and forget all the wrongs others have done to me, the reason being is that Jesus gave up his life for us sinners.

"Jesus loved us despite our faults and sins; we must follow Jesus's footsteps by doing the same.

"Remember in the Bible it says, 'and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma," she said.

The cathedral was packed with the different congregation members, forcing a lot of people to stand during the service. The next service is today to mark Good Friday and will start with a procession from Mulinuu to the cathedral.

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