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Christianity observes one of its holiest days, Good Friday

Today, Christians around the world, including those in American Samoa, are commemorating Good Friday; the day when they believe Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross at Calvary to save the world.


Good Friday in American Samoa is being marked with morning services by some church denominations, especially the Catholic Faith, whose parishioners re-create the final steps Jesus took while carrying his cross to the crucifixion site — they are embodied in the fourteen Stations of the Cross — the ceremony started just before sunrise.


At the Catholic Church in Fagaalu the service began around 4:30a.m., with a police escort leading the procession, along the main highway to the fourteen Stations. At the Holly Family Parish at Fatuoaiga, Bishop Peter Brown, led the 5:30a.m. service procession. Other Catholic churches began services after 5a.m. followed by Good Friday Mass.


Good Friday precedes Easter Sunday, the day Christians believe Jesus was resurrected— and will include a wide range of church services territory-wide, followed by an Easter feast. Tomorrow there will be Easter Egg hunts for the children at certain sites island wide.


To mark Easter, President Barack Obama early this week hosted the annual prayer breakfast at the White House, saying that at this Easter Week, “We’re reminded how He (God) loves us, so deeply, that He gave his only begotten Son so that we might live through Him. And in these Holy Days, we recall all that Jesus endured for us -- the scorn of the crowds and the pain of the crucifixion, in our Christian religious tradition we celebrate the glory of the Resurrection -- all so that we might be forgiven of our sins and granted everlasting life.”


“And more than 2,000 years later, it inspires us still.  We are drawn to His timeless teachings, challenged to be worthy of His sacrifice, to emulate as best we can His eternal example to love one another just as He loves us,” Obama said.


“And of course, we’re always reminded each and every day that we fall short of that example. And none of us are free from sin, but we look to His life and strive, knowing that “if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us,” he added.


Complete text of the President’s remarks are found on the White House website.


Meanwhile, American Samoa government workers have a four-day weekend, starting yesterday with the 2014 Flag Day celebration.


In observance of Good Friday, Samoa News has no print edition today, but returns tomorrow, with the Saturday weekend edition — Toasavili.