Samoa celebrates Resurrection Sunday, message of hope echoed throughout the country

The message of Jesus Christ’s victory over death rung out loud and clear throughout Samoa today when the country celebrated Resurrection Sunday.

The occasion is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion.

Samoa is marking Easter Weekend with three national holidays, which started on Good Friday.

Today, thousands of Samoans and Christians living in Samoa packed churches throughout the country for Resurrection Sunday and Holy Communion.

At Vaitele Uta, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa staged a big celebration, led by the Sunday School and the Youth.

Children re-enacted the day Jesus came back to life, candle lit items and singing up-beat hymns to celebrate.

Laumata Asopa'epa'e said Easter is very important to the Christian faith.

"The main thing why we do this every resurrection Sunday to have the kids act it out is because we want them to know and understand the reason why Jesus died,” Laumata said.

“We also want them to know the reason He has risen again; they need to know that it was to save all of us.”

She said this was also the message they aimed to relay during Sunday School. She added that Jesus died to save the world and to give them hope.

"We have had 15, 16, 17 year olds who have been seen the abuse of alcohol and drugs,” she said.

“I urge them to come to church and utilize the experience while they can so they may know how to live appropriately for the Lord. No parent wants to leave their child unguided.”

Laumata said the message of Resurrection Sunday is that in Jesus, people can find love and hope to continue.

"The reason why our youth go down this path it’s because this is what they see happening around them.

“But maybe if they come to church and get influenced by the constant reminders of the love of God that we always try to relay on them, then maybe they can change for the better.”

These were also the thoughts of 16-year-old Lau Ioane, who said that for the resurrection of Jesus, we should all be working together to bring in more souls for the Lord.

"It takes a village to raise a child," Lau said.

"It’s important to me as Jesus' resurrection serves as an example for me and my generation.

“The main thing is that we need to just really feel the key message for today, which is to look forward to the next life.

"We should try and convince them to come inside, come get involved with youth and Sunday school, this way they don’t stray too far from the Lord. We all need him.”

Apart from Sunday services, most Samoans today are using the opportunity to gather with families for Sunday afternoon feasts, also known as to’anai.

Some churches have more than one service as the country reflects and remember Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

Easter celebration continues tomorrow with another national holiday.

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