Samoa gives thanks on quiet Resurrection Sunday
Resurrection Sunday is being widely observed in Samoa today but it is an occasion like never before.
On one of the most important Sundays of the year for the Christian faith, there was eerily empty feeling on the streets of Samoa with the absence of people decked out in their finest white clothing for the usual church services.
With churches choosing to abide by the orders of the State of Emergency (S.O.E.) to prevent the spread of COVID19, families were forced to worship from their homes. Some held thanksgiving services while others chose to utilise online technology to watch their favourite preachers deliver the message of hope.
For the first time hundreds of church buildings in Upolu and Savai'i were empty and with closed doors on Easter Sunday.
A father of three from Mulifanua said that Easter is one of the most important occasions in their church calendar.
Mareko Tala added that the reason being is that Easter is a time to remember the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to redeem the world.
“As a Christian, honouring the sacrifice our Saviour made is very significant,” he said.
The 48-year-old told the Samoa Observer that attending church services held on Easter Sunday was always the norm until this year.
“I understand that the reason behind banning public gatherings was a preventative measure against the deadly coronavirus.
“I support the Government’s decision in ensuring our people are safe.
“But it does make me sad because church services are special because it unites our people under one roof to give back the glory and thanksgiving to God for giving his only son to save us all.”
Samoa was not alone in having church buildings empty for church services.
In Italy, the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis celebrated Easter in an almost empty St. Peter’s Basilica, reported Vatican News.
The leader of the Catholic Church said that hope is our right.
He added that it is a hope that comes from God and it’s not optimism but a “gift from heaven” that we have not “earned on our own”.
“All will be well”, he added.
“Jesus’ hope is different. He plants in our hearts the conviction that God is able to make everything work unto good, because even from the grave He brings life.”
Pastor Samoa Unoi, of the Peace Chapel Christian Fellowship, said as the whole world battles through COVID-19 during Easter period, it is all part of tribulations.
“It is timely that the world is battling this virus during Easter and it is sad that many lives have been taken and many others have suffered because of it.
“But these are just trials that mankind go through and we must be strong and courageous for our God will not leave or forsake us.”
Methodist Church President, Reverend Faulalo Leti said that God feels our pain, our pleas and our sufferings.
“God strengthens us in times of need, until we learn about faith to realise the wonderfulness of his love in various ways.
“The Easter or the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fortune from the grave.
“The dark and petrifying grave that has brought about light and life through the revival of our saviour, and it’s our hope for big blessings he has prepared for us.”