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Christians in Nagaland celebrate Good Friday

DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 4/20/2019 12:24:22 PM IST

Good Friday, the Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary, is observed during the Holy Week on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. It was observed with special services across Nagaland on April 19. Following are some reports of the event as celebrated in Nagaland.

MHCC: Parishioners of Mary Help of Christian Cathedral (MHCC) celebrated Good Friday in memory of Christ’s Passion, crucifixion and death, with Most Rev. Dr. James Thoppil, Bishop of Kohima, as the main celebrant on April 19. 
A press release from Diocese of Kohima Bishop’s secretary, Fr. Renthungo Victor, stated that the Bishop in his introduction said that fourteen Station of Jesus’ way of the Cross in Jerusalem today illustrates believers’ way of the Cross in their lives. He urged the faithful to focus on the Passion of Jesus Christ with meditative prayers. 
The way of the cross was conducted outside the Church going through each fourteen stations after which the community went into the Church for the day’s liturgy: the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and the Service of Communion. 
The bishop in his short homily referred to Good Friday as the day Christians commemorate and live the passion of Christ. 
The homily was followed by universal prayers with ten different intentions after which the veneration of the Cross was conducted. The day’s service ended with a communion service. 
MGOS Church: MGOS Church, Midland, Dimapur, celebrated its Good Friday service from morning 9 am to 3 pm on April 19.  
A press release from the MGOS media cell stated that the observance consisted of morning prayers, three hour prayers, noon prayer, ninth hours prayers followed by veneration of the Holy Cross, processions, and a devotional address by Binu Babu, among other things. 
The press release added that the whole day service remembered the historic day of Jesus’ crucifixion. It added that on Sunday, Easter service will start at 5 am followed by Easter service.
SFS Parish, Kohima: Over four thousand Catholic faithful from St. Francis de Sales (SFS) Parish Kohima town commemorated Good Friday by taking part in the “Way of the Cross” and liturgical celebration at Kuochiezie Local Ground, Kohima on April 19.
A press release from SFS Kohima stated that principal of Don Bosco Higher Secondary School (DBHSS) Kohima, Rev. Fr. James Thalu, SDB presided over the Eucharist as the main celebrant with parish priest of SFS, Rev. Fr. Richard Fernandes and assistant parish priest Rev. Fr. Peter Pithungo as concelebrants.
In his homily, Fr. James spoke about the Jewish culture in Christ’s time where people who committed the worst of crimes were put on the Cross, so Jesus gave full meaning to the Cross, a symbol of ‘shame’ and ‘crime’.
The priest asked the faithful to remember that Jesus was not overpowered by His enemies but rather it was Himself who voluntarily gave up His life.
Earlier, the crowd stood in silence for fifteen minutes listening to the “Passion Narrative” with reverence.
The accounts of the suffering and death of Christ was narrated by Teisovi Gerard, the main celebrant acted as Jesus while Monica Cusma, Anuvolii Rose and Lichumthung Simon represented Pilate, the Jews and others. 
Neingulie Michael and Neizha-o Edward did the first and the second reading from scripture, “prayer of the faithful” was administered by the three priests, and Angami Catholic Youth Association (SFS) choir led and sang songs during the Eucharist.
Earlier, the Way of the Cross began at Old MLA junction with the introduction of 1st Station by Fr. Peter while Philip Lotha acted as the first cross bearer.
The other thirteen Way of the Cross stations depicting the passion and death of Christ successively followed where a representative, from the communities Adivasi, Sumi, Poumai, Pochury, Rongmei, Lotha, Angami, Chakhesang and other members of the parish, carried a large wooden cross as cross bearers.
SPCCW:  St. Paul’s Catholic Church Wokha (SPCCW) organized a Way of the Cross procession on April 19.
A press release from St. Paul’s Catholic Church Wokha member, Yanrenthung J Humtsoe stated that the procession was led by assistant parish priest, Rev.  Fr. Jossy, with hundreds of believers meditating on the 14 stations of the Cross, depicting Jesus Christ on the day of His crucifixion, accompanied by prayers.
Holy Mass was also celebrated led by Rev. Fr. Jossy. In his Homily, Rev. Fr. Jossy spoke on the significance of being good and righteous. He stated that the wicked will meet wicked ends. Thus, a believer must willingly accept the good as Christ did and ignore the wicked. He encouraged the congregation to welcome Christ into their hearts by reading His word and by living a good life.
A play was also performed by members of Wokha Town Catholic Youth Association on all the 14  Stations of the Cross. The program was chaired by Nzanbemo Lapon, secretary St. Paul’s Catholic Church Wokha. 

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