Tears flow freely as mothers who have passed on remembered
It was an emotional Mother's Day church service for the Samoa Fijian community Methodist congregation last Sunday at the University of the South Pacific Alafua Campus fale.
While the whole service was conducted by the mothers — from the choir, Bible reading and sermon — a special part of the service that brought the congregation to tears is a moment dedicated to mothers who have passed on.
It is celebrated in all Methodist churches in Fiji.
Usually done half way into the service, two mothers are usually tasked with carrying flowers to the front of the altar, where the church elder awaits to receive them with the choir singing a slow chorus to remember all mothers who have died.
Women's fellowship group leader, Sainimili Maramaitamana, said the service is always special for mothers because not only do they thank God for the gift of life and blessings as mothers, but also remember those who have passed on.
"As you can see that part of the service is that two women carried flowers forward, this is to remember mothers who have passed away. It's a very emotional moment for us because some of us have lost our mothers and some are celebrating Mother's Day away from home," Mrs. Maramaitamana said.
Speaking on their theme "Bulataka nai vunau kei na veitalailevu me vakayadrata nai bole meu kilai Jisu ka vaka veikilai taki Koya yani", she said this is a message to everyone, and not just women, to live out Jesus' teachings and to make Him known to the world through our actions.
"Women have a calling in life to be good role models in their family, through their teachings, so their actions need to be based on the teachings of Jesus' in the Bible. Set the example for their children and their family, and make Jesus known to them.
"Children will then do the same to other people, and it continues. It is like a cycle."
Another special part of the service is the women having the opportunity to sing a chorus that's being sung by mothers all across the Methodist churches in Fiji, composed and written by Qalo Rokotakala, who was also present at the church service on Sunday.
Mrs. Maramaitamana is calling on mothers to be faithful to their calling and to always pray whenever they face challenges in life.
There are about 30 members of the women's fellowship group in Samoa.