Bungoma Catholic faithful mark Easter Sunday
Christians in the former western province joined the rest of the world in marking this year`s Easter Sunday with the message of peace, unity taking a centre point in all the churches.
In Bungoma, several churches conducted vigil where Christians spent time praying expecting the right time when Jesus Christ is believed to have resurrected.
Fire was lit in several Church compounds to keep the area warm although this year’s Easter came at the time when the country is experiencing a lot of warming making it easier for Christians to put up with the outside environment during the vigil.
At the Christ the King Cathedral Parish of Bungoma Diocese, Catholic faithful led by the Parish Priest Rev. Fr Christopher Wanyonyi and Rev. Fr Chripinus Wekhanya Marofu gathered in the Parish Church in Bungoma town for mass that started at 8.pm on Saturday 26th March 2016.
The message for being in faith and trusting in the resurrected Christ was the main message during the night’s service plus of course unity and appeal to offer prayers for the church and country.
On Sunday 27th March 2016, Bungoma Diocese Catholic Bishop Norman King`oo Wambua led the faithful in two mass services at the Christ the King Cathedral while the Parish Priest Rev Fr Christopher Wanyonyi conducted the third mass in the same Church.
Speaking during the sermon, Bishop Wambua challenged Christians and Kenyans at large to meditate and embrace ways that will help in the transformation of the society.
He praised women for sacrificing to implement things aimed at transforming the society.
“Women are very special because even after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the first witnesses were women, they had gone to apply oil to the departed Jesus but found he had risen, women really love things even without reason,” said Bishop Wambua.
“We should support women in whatever they do, not because they are weak but we need to strengthen them by supporting their initiatives,” he added.
Bishop Wambua spoke on the state of health facilities in some sub counties in the Country revealing that some health facilities are in a sorry state that needs people to be responsible to enable the said facilities serve people well.
“You find in a health facility, X Ray machines are not working, facilities in theatre rooms are not working and people are praying, that one will not solve anything, people have to use brains to fix that,” he explained
He said the state at which most of the health facilities are in will forever make it an impossibility to fight diseases in the country.
On poverty that has now spread in many regions in Kenya, the Bungoma Diocese Catholic head said people have to work hard to reduce poverty levels in their homes.
“God did not want us to be poor, in any case, God has given us brains, strength, good soil, environment we therefore have no reason to be poor, we just need to use our brains and work extra smart to kick out poverty from our midst,” said Bishop Wambua.
On Education, Bishop Wambua appealed to parents and the young generation to embrace education arguing that education is the only weapon that can be used to address some of the problems that the society is facing at the moment.
“When we take our children to school we shall be forming the best team to deal with diseases, poverty and other problems that face many of us,” explained Bishop Wambua.
“You parents, please educate your children so that they can use their knowledge to fight and eradicate many problems around you, if a child is not educated he or she will not know the best ways to save himself or herself from poverty, diseases, an educated child will also assist you greatly as a parent,” he added.
He used the opportunity to encourage the youth never to give up in life arguing that through hard work plus faith in God, every young person is destined for good things.
He said despite the many challenges that the young Kenyan generation face such as lack of employment opportunities, proper education due to the high level of poverty, they can still make it in life if they choose to use their brains well.
The same message of hard work, sacrifice, being responsible was directed to Kenyan leaders Bishop Wambua revealing that minus that, the current problems will still be witnessed and most probably double.
Easter Sunday marks the day of resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the happiest day among Christians as they turn out in large numbers to mark the day of resurrection of Jesus Christ and indication of winning.
Christians believe resurrection of Jesus Christ is a big win by Jesus against sin and by extension Satan.
The church services conducted on Easter Sunday are very lively, full of praise, ululations and special offerings.
The Catholic Church has a plan that ensures the needy in the society are assisted especially during Easter Holiday so that they can also celebrate with others the resurrection of Christ.
Church Ministers dress in white and Christians are always advised to wear white signifying peace and happiness after being saved by Jesus Christ on the cross.
Note that during Lent period, the clergy normally wear garments that are purple in colour upto the eve of Palm Sunday.
From Palm Sunday to Good Friday, they use red colour, on Saturday during vigil, they use garments that are goldish in colour.
This year`s Easter celebrations was preceded by a period of Lent that started on 10th February 2016 ending on 20th March 2016 on Palm Sunday.
According to the Catholic Calendar, Palm Sunday marks the end of Lent period which take approximately forty days. Palm Sunday also marks the beginning of the Holy Week on the calendar.
During the Holy Week Catholic faithful mark Holy Thursday where they remember how Jesus Christ washed his apostles` feet, then later on had his last super with his apostles.
On Holy Thursday, holy oil used during baptism and other church ceremonies is blessed during mass that is conducted across all the parishes and sub parishes of the Catholic Church.
On Friday commonly known as Good Friday, Catholic faithful conduct processions to different places where they walk for more than twenty kilometers carrying the cross.
That is done in remembrance of how Jesus Christ carried his cross up to Golgotha where he was crucified. On Good Friday, Catholic faithful do not eat meat, they avoid celebrations completely and even the church services conducted are very boring as Christians meditate and reflect on the meaning of crucifixion of Jesus Christ. They do not sing any praise songs, no ululations.
On Saturday, the Christians gather in churches and around churches as they wait for the time of resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the church, they light fire and gather around it for prayers the whole night. Mass is conducted as Christians wait for resurrection of Christ.