Kohima: Good Friday, which marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, was observed in the Christian- dominated state of Nagaland with people fasting and attending special services in churches by following COVID-19 safety norms.
The northeastern state had for the first time, since the formation of the state in 1963, foregone Easter celebration last year due to COVID-19 lockdown.
Believers thronged churches for the morning prayer service, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, with the government allowing places of worship to function.
The Nagaland home department in a notification last week had sought enforcement of the existing guidelines and SOPs for preventing the spread of COVID-19 during Good Friday, Easter and other festivals.
At the St Francis De Sales (SFS) church in Kohima, Father Lawrence Khing reflected saying: “Essence of God in the person of Jesus Christ did not make sense to many people” as people are often blinded by selfishness.
According to him, Good Friday has a sorrowful purpose and the greatest purpose is to save humanity from sin. He said that love for humanity cost Jesus his life and his death is not a simple death as it changed the course of humanity for those who believed in him.
Jesus death is a paradox which we cannot be fully understand, he added.
The priest expressed belief that in Jesus death, life has conquered death. He added that Good Friday is a reminder to open one’s whole being to Jesus. He also encouraged faithful’s to denounce self-righteousness and self-justification which are the two greatest sin of today’s generation.
To mark the occasion, Nagaland Governor R N Ravi and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio have extended greetings to people.
“The essence of Good Friday is the victory of good over evil. Truth, non-violence, love, forgiveness and grace are some of the significant attributes of Jesus Christ,” the governor said in a message.
He called upon the people, especially the youth, to reflect and imbibe these essential virtues.
The governor also appealed to the citizens to follow COVID-19 protocols at all times.
“On #GoodFriday, we remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His unconditional love for us. Light conquered darkness and goodness conquered sin. May #GoodFriday2021 bring new meaning and change in our lives.
Wishing all Christians a blessed Good Friday,” the chief minister tweeted.
Meanwhile, in view of the pandemic, the Kohima Baptist Pastors Fellowship (KBPF) has cancelled mass Easter Sunrise Service at the picturesque World War-II Cemetery.
The KBPF has requested only pastors to represent their churches at NSF Solidarity Park by following COVID-19 protocols.
With inputs from PTI