By Muhammad Naeem Khan Niazi
The Christian community across Pakistan is ready to celebrate Easter on Sunday to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day of his burial after the crucifixion by the Romans. This holiday falls on the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon which takes place between March 22 and April 25 of each year and Eastern Christianity and this year this day falls on April 04.
Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus (short final period of the life of Jesus Christ which represents suffering and patience) and is preceded by Lent, a period of 40 days of fasting, prayer and penance. In Easter traditions, Easter time, also known as the Easter season, begins on Easter Sunday and ends with the arrival of the 40th day which marks the feast of the Ascension when Jesus Christ ascended. to the heavens.
According to Christian traditions, Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans on Good Friday, buried on the same day and he was raised from the dead on the third day, i.e. on Easter Sunday, when he appeared among his disciples for the next 40 days before ascending into the heavens. .
Easter Sunday customs include sunrise services in churches, decorating Easter eggs (symbol of the empty tomb) and cutting church services in addition to beautifying the choir area of churches with the Easter lily which symbolizes the resurrection.
Easter is the defeat of death and the hope of salvation. It is an important holiday for Christians like Christmas and they celebrate it with religious zeal and devotion.
Reverend Father Samson Dilawar of Mary Immaculate Conception Church, New Anarkali, Lahore said the Easter festival is the foundation of Christian faith which is based on the crucifixion, death and resurrection of the Holy Christ, adding that Easter was the only religious holiday commemorated for centuries. by early Christianity and the Christmas holidays became a fairly late part of religious tradition among Christians.
He said that although Christmas is celebrated with more pomp and spectacle, it is Easter which is the main pillar of the Christian faith. If Jesus Christ, according to the Old Testament, had not risen from the dead, the faith was not complete.
After 40 days of fasting, Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday followed by three days of worship from Good Friday and this continues until Easter Sunday to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Reverend added. Dad.
He said that Easter worship involves meditating on the mysteries of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who raised his voice against the injustice and evils perpetrated by the Jews and Romans of his day.
Father Samson said Easter is the day of a renewed commitment to speak out against cruelty and injustice in the world, as Jesus Christ did against the Romans. They (the Romans) thought they had conquered the voice of truth, peace and love, but the resurrection of Christ proved them wrong.
Reverend Father Shahid Meraj, of Dean Lahore Cathedral, on the importance of Easter Sunday, said Easter was more about religious rituals and the spirit of worship than just celebrating. Easter, in its true spirit and concept, teaches godliness, repentance, purgation, purity, peace, love, reconciliation and salvation. We need to pursue this very spirit instead of focusing more on joy.
Easter is a universal message for all who strive for truth and justice: truth cannot be murdered and darkness will never rule over light. Jesus Christ, in his teachings, upheld the standard of truth and righteousness, and his message is for posterity.
He said that Christ washed away the sins of the world with his blood and that his resistance against the forces of evil and injustice is a light for future generations. Easter is a festival of life and hope and the current pandemic situation calls for unified efforts to overcome death through consolidated efforts and to respect life for a better future.
The two Reverend Fathers thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for allowing the Christian community to commemorate Easter by observing the SOPs.
We were unable to organize services last year due to the severe wave of Covid-19. But, this time, we will take this opportunity to memorize the discipline and courage shown by the Holy Christ.
Provincial Minister of Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ijaz Alam Augustine, in his message on this occasion, said Easter is celebrated to pray for peace and harmony among all mankind and ask for forgiveness from their sins. This time around, the community would also seek heavenly intervention to purge the world of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
He said the Christian community across the country during Easter Sunday services will also pray for the peace, prosperity and security of the country and the people of Pakistan.
This day also offers us the opportunity to renew our faith and our love for humanity.
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