EASTER MESSAGE: CHURCHES BEG FORGIVENESS FOR FAILING THE YOUTH
THE “born frees” are not free.
That was the message delivered to almost a thousand Christians of various denominations — mainly Catholics and Anglicans — who took part in the annual Good Friday ecumenical service and procession in Pietermaritzburg at 6 am yesterday.
The service, which was led by Father Neil Frank and Dean Ndabezinhle Sibisi, started at Saint Mary’s Church in Jabu Ndlovu Street and proceeded to the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Nativity.
Gathering before the procession, the congregation prayed for forgiveness for having neglected the youth and having failed to protect them against abuse and social ills.
The prayer was in line with the theme of service this year, which focused on the generation born after the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994.
From Saint Mary’s Church, the congregation walked silently and solemnly to the Anglican Cathedral in Church Street.
Early-morning joggers and motorists made way for the lengthy procession as individuals took turns to carry the wooden cross, shrouded in purple cloth, which symbolises the crucifixion of Jesus.
In his homily at the cathedral, Father Callistus Khathali said the socalled born-frees could not be free as long as there was lawlessness and moral decay, despite the soundness of the Constitution. “True freedom comes from above, from God. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution are not enough,” he said.
After the service, Sibisi, dean and rector of the Anglican Cathedral, said he was pleased with the growing numbers of people who attended the service. He said he was also encouraged by the fact that Christian denominations were coming together as one to address the social ills that faced the youth of today.
“Young people of our societies are not free as they are faced with crime, rape, unemployment and drug abuse, among other problems, and churches must stop pretending that all is well and come together to tackle these common problems.”
The Christian community commemorates the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter. The Good Friday ecumenical procession in Pietermaritzburg, led here by priests bearing a wooden cross, began at St Mary’s Church and ended at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Nativity.