By Polycarp Ifeanyi, Onitsha
The president general of Onitsha archdiocesan catechists, Mr Peter Eze, has said that Easter is the greatest Christian festival across the world.
In a chat with newsmen in his office, he revealed that many people presume that Christmas is greater than Easter.
He said, “Spiritually, I think the Easter festival is full of spiritual exercise more than the Christmas festival which seems to be more laudable as regards its preparation than Easter.
“Easter marks the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion. For many Christians, Easter is the joyful end of the Lenten season of fasting and penance. Easter is also the fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah who would be persecuted, die for our sin and rise on the third day.
“Remembering the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a way to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin,” Eze concluded.
The catechist in charge of St Peter the Apostle Catholic Church Parish, Ugwuagba Obosi, noted that many churches set aside time for repentance and the remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Easter. He pointed out that Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday, the day of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.
Ash Wednesday denotes the agony and suffering of Jesus Christ. During this period, the tempo of church activities would change. Precisely in the Catholic Church, priests would always appear in a particular attire during Eucharistic celebration, a particular song would be sung during Mass, and all crucifixes within the church vicinity would be wrapped with clothes.
Ash Wednesday would continue and lead to Holy Week and Palm Sunday, respectively. Palm Sunday is a period when the people of God bring palm fronds to the church for blessings, in commemoration of Jesus’ triumphant entry as a king into Jerusalem.
After Holy Week, chrism Mass would be observed. Chrism Mass denotes the renewal of the oath of priesthood by all the ordained priests through the bishop of a diocese and the blessings of the entire lay faithful.
The Enugu-born catechist further affirmed that with rigorous spiritual nourishment during Easter preparations, one would concur that Easter is greater than Christmas, and is the only remarkable festival that made the Christian faith factual and authentic.