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Churches to celebrate resurrection of Jesus with special events

Thursday 6 April 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Churches to celebrate resurrection of Jesus with special events
The Matavera Sacred Heart Parish youth hosted the Palm Sunday (the last Sunday of Lent and first day of Holy Week) mass last Sunday. MELINA ETCHES/ 23040501

Local churches are organising special events to mark Easter weekend.

Easter is a busy time for many people in the Cook Islands as they join the rest of the world to celebrate one of the greatest religious festivals.

It is a long weekend holiday from Friday, April 7 to Monday, April 10, when Christians mark the end of Lent and commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus three days after His death by crucifixion.

Today is Holy Thursday and tonight the “washing of the feet” will take place during the Catholic Diocese church services around Rarotonga.

Pope Francis has chosen a penitentiary institute once again to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper with the rite of the washing of feet.

According to Vatican News, Pope Francis will go to the Casal del Marmo juvenile institution in Rome to wash the feet of 12 young people of different nationalities during the Holy Thursday liturgy.

“The gesture marks a sign of solidarity with them, an encouragement to see each other as brothers and sisters, and to find beauty in their lives, despite the rejection and abandonment of society they might feel,” states the Vatican News.

The Rarotonga Catholic Diocese Easter service calendar is as follows:

Today Holy Thursday 6 April – Sacred Heart Matavera at 6.30pm, St. Joseph’s Cathedral at 7pm, St. Paul’s Titikaveka at 7pm, St. Mary’s Arorangi at 8.30pm; Good Friday – All four parishes have the same timetable, the  Cross Walk around the island will start at 4am from the Cathedral in Avarua, Stations of the Cross at 9am, Passion of the Lord at 3pm; Holy Saturday Evening - Sacred Heart Matavera at 6.30pm, St. Paul’s Titikaveka at 7pm, St. Joseph’s Cathedral at 8pm, St Mary’s Arorangi at 9pm; Easter Sunday - Sacred Heart Matavera at 8am, St. Joseph’s Cathedral at 10am (Children’s Mass), St. Mary’s Arorangi at 10am, St. Paul’s Titikaveka at 10.30am.

The CICC (Cook Islands Christian Church) on the island will start their Passover Communion service on Thursday at 6pm when all members from the children to the elderly partake in “kai oroa” and wear white.

On Good Friday their services will start at 10am – please note the dress code is black, and on Sunday the dress code is white and the services will start at 10am.

The Takitumu CICC churches – Matavera, Ngatangiia and Titikaveka – will combine together for sports games and activities in Titikaveka on Easter Monday.

The Apostolic Church will have their Communion on Easter Sunday with their usual service at 10am. Later in the evening they will be at the Constitution Park at 6pm for their crusade.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Cook Islands will have their Sunday services at their various branches starting at 10am.

The Arepua Gateway Church in Takuvaine will host a Good Friday service at 10.30am and Easter Sunday morning church at 10.30am.