NATION

First Easter Celebration At Home

For Catholics around the world this year’s Holy Week is being observed in very different circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic. People will experience Holy Week at home during these
10 Apr 2020 15:47
First Easter Celebration At Home
From left: Lodoviko Lui Namuri and Tobia Vakamalua at Culanuku on April 5, 2020. Photos: Kara Waqanidrola

For Catholics around the world this year’s Holy Week is being observed in very different circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.

People will experience Holy Week at home during these days.

For the first time in 51 years Tobia Vakamalua will be with his family in Culanuku throughout Easter praying.

This is because there will be no Easter Thursday evening programme of the Last Supper and washing of the feet, Friday programme of the Lord’s passion in observing the Stations of the Cross, Saturday observing the Easter vigil and Sunday programme for the Resurrection mass at his home parish Lomary in Serua.

This is due to Government’s directive in restricting mass gathering, maintaining of social distancing and carrying out hygienic practises.

The Catholic faith was accepted in Culanuku more than 100 years ago; Mr Vakamalua is its first catechetic.

“There were elders who carried out work similar to a catechetic in the past, I am the first to have gone through the Navesi Catechetic Training Centre,” Mr Vakamalua said.

“Following Archbishop’s message, we have had to make changes leading up to the Holy Week,” he said.

“We usually go to Lomary for mass every Sunday, but in the past three weeks we have just been having family prayer times.

“I go around to all 12 Catholic families to assist, I beat the lali three times every day – 6am, 12 noon and 6pm for the angelus.

“It is a trying time, luckily for us we have daily programmes, prayers and readings observed by the universal church (global) that assist us in keeping the faith during this pandemic.

“We usually observe the Stations of the Cross every Friday after Ash Wednesday, that has been called off due to the coronavirus.

“Our own family prayer times have made us stronger, regardless of what we are doing; whenever it is time to pray, we converge at our homes to pray.

“Majority of our children attend Catholic schools, this is an opportune time also for them to do the readings, rosaries and prayers of the faithful at home with their families.”

With him on Sunday was Lodoviko Lui Namuri of Vutia in Rewa. Mr Namuri’s grandfather had accompanied the Catholic missionaries from Naililili in the 1800s to the coast on Rewa.

They first arrived at Vunibau in 1811 and then proceeded to Culanuku before establishing the Lomary Parish at Galoa.

“My family has been a piece of land by the people of Culanuku and we have lived and attended school here,” Mr Namuri said.

“We are from Vutia in Rewa but this is our home now,” he said.

Lomary Parish has close to 20 sectors and has two schools, Lomary Primary and Lomary Secondary schools with more than 500 students attending.

Screenshot 2020-04-10 at 3.43.44 PM

Edited by Rosi Doviverata

Feedback: karalaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj

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