Last Sunday, Christians across the world celebrated the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday marked the beginning of the holy week. Holy week is the last week of lent and the week before Easter. The most significant day during this period is Good Friday, a day Christians believed Jesus Christ died on the cross 2019 years ago on a certain Friday at 3pm for their sake.
In Buea, it was an unusual day, Christians in their numbers from all walks of life, clad in black respected the yearly tradition and joined their peers across Cameroon and beyond to commemorate the agony and crucifixion of Jesus. We were present to capture the sounds and colors of the event and where else could we have gone to, if not to a place that has it all, the St. Charles Lwanga Parish of the Buea Diocese.
At the parish, Christians came out in their thousands, clad in black with their different crosses, an action that signifies that just as Jesus did, they are willing to endure whatever pain that comes their way as they follow their savior, Jesus Christ.
The event began with a passion play by a charismatic group of youths in the parish, a presentation that clearly depicts the passion, trial, suffering and death of Jesus Christ. We trailed the passion walk involving the passion play which went on simultaneously with Stations of the Cross starting from Government Technical High School Molyko, through the junction of the Catholic University Institute of the Diocese of Buea to the Parish.
As it is a Roman Catholic doctrine, holy mass is not celebrated on this day but rather there is a service of liturgy of the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion. The service held at the parish yard in front of the chapel because it could not contain the extremely large number of Christians who came out to commemorate the suffering and crucifixion of their savior.
In his 26mins, 30 seconds sermon, the Parish Priest of the St. Charles Lwanga Parish, Rev. Fr. Ernest Neba began by welcoming Christians who only come to church on solemn days like Good Friday and urged them not to be once in a year Christians but should continuously attend masses and build a stronger relationship with God.
Rev. Fr. Neba also called on the Christians of the Parish to be good ambassadors of Christ and just like Jesus suffered and died for their sins, they too should be ready to suffer for the things of God.
The most solemn moment of it all was the veneration of the cross; a devotion where Christians kneel, kiss or bow to Jesus on the cross as a sign of honor to him for accepting to die for their sins. A moment which lasted for over an hour due to its solemnity and the large number of Christians present.
The ceremony also saw the collection of alms. Alms collected on this day will be used in catering for the needs of the underprivileged in the community. This is an act of charity that the church expects Christians to carry out during this period alongside fasting and praying.
Many have wondered why this particular day is called Good Friday. They don’t understand how the crucifixion of Jesus should be considered ‘’good’’. According to Rev. Fr Ernest Neba, this day is considered good because Jesus died in order to save us and if we are alive today, it is because of this act, his life was sacrificed in order to save ours. So, that is why we should rejoice on this day.