Weekend Witness - - Religion - MIKE MWARE

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.

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