Easter account from Holy Thursday
Churches will be packed to capacity as Christians in Ghana join their counterparts across the world to celebrate the death and resurrection of the father of the Christian faith.
Easter is used to observe the symbolic nailing of Jesus Christ about 2,000 years ago.
For the Christian faith in Ghana, Easter is a period to spend more time in church in sober reflection from Holy Thursday to Sunday to mourn and rejoice the death and resurrection of one of the most iconic religious figures whose followers represent majority of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world.
For members of the Lighthouse Chapel International, all roads will lead to the Independence Square on Good Friday for a Miracle Service to be led by Evangelist Dr Dag Heward-Mills.
In the Catholic Church, the Easter celebrations start on Wednesday with a Chrism Mass where oil is blessed for healing during the service.
In the evening of Holy Thursday, feet washing takes place in some Charismatic and Catholic churches to symbolise Jesus Christ’s humility and service to mankind. In the church, the foot washing ceremony is an important call for all people that they too should be willing to serve others.
In the Catholic Church, this is called the Holy Thursday Mandatum, and the rite takes place after the homily (preaching).
On Good Friday, most churches in the country re-enact the symbolic crucifixion of Christ—an activity that reminds the faithful of the pain and sacrifice of the Saviour on the cross.
The Catholics begin the day with the station of the cross—the symbolic journey of Christ with the cross to his crucifixion.
Tears flow and souls are won after this event.
It is obligatory for Catholic faithful to fast on this day to share in the pain and agony of Christ and also purge themselves of sin.
On Holy Saturday, the conventions continue but tend to be a relaxed day for most denominations. The Catholics, however, use the day to baptise new converts.
In the evening, huge bonfires come alive in Catholic churches and go deep into the night, sometimes as late as 1 a.m., in anticipation of the symbolic resurrection of Christ.
On Easter Sunday, the conventions come to an end as Christ resurrects. In some communities, the faithful wake at dawn with candles to visit the cemetery in search of the dead but resurrect Christ. They burst into songs that praise the risen Christ who defied death after the third day of his crucifixion.
Just like the eve of a new year, church auditoriums are packed with the faithful who sing and dance in celebration of the risen Saviour.
In most churches, altar calls are made for people to give their lives to Christ.
The crowning of the Easter Season is Easter Monday when churches hold picnics for their congregations. Church members bring and share food while they at the same time engage in fun games.
Places like the Christ the King Catholic Church near the Flagstaff House, the Alajo Park, the Borstal Institute in Accra and most community parks nationwide will be agog with churches’ picnics.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Police Service has assured the general public that adequate security arrangement has been made to provide protection for lives and property during the Easter festival across the country.
“All Regional, Divisional and District Police Commands have been directed by the Police Administration to put measures in place for the peaceful and successful observation of the event. With particular reference to the Kwahu Easter, the police wish to assure celebrants and the public that a large number of policemen and women have been deployed to the Kwahu scarp to provide security and maintain law and order,” it said in a statement.
It, however, advised the public to desist from using trade plates – DV and DP number vehicles – or unregistered vehicles and motorbikes at the place, adding that all such unregistered vehicles and motorbikes would be impounded and their drivers and riders arrested for prosecution.
In case of emergency, the police urged the public to call MTN and Vodafone shortcode, 18555 and all networks - 191 or 0302773906.