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Good Friday commemorated in American Samoa and is a govt holiday

Actor Timothy Watkins carries a cross

 Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Christians around the world, including those in American Samoa, commemorate Good Friday today, as the day when Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross at Calvary to save the world — it is a day of mourning for Christians.

It was already Good Friday, Apr. 2nd, in other parts of the world, including Samoa. And that is the reason the MV Lady Naomi sailed to the territory on Tuesday, instead of the usually arrival on Thursday — which would be Friday in Samoa.

Good Friday is marked with morning services by some church denominations, especially the Catholic faith, whose parishioners re-create the final steps Jesus took while carrying his cross to be crucified — they are embodied in the fourteen Stations of the Cross — and it was scheduled to start just before sunrise.

A planned event for Good Friday, hosted by Pastors David and Debbie Katina, will start at 6p.m. today, “The Collage of Love” at the Department of Youth And Women’s Affairs building in Taffeta. And the public is invited.

Good Friday precedes Easter Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the triumphant resurrection of Jesus — and includes a wide range of church services territory-wide, followed by an Easter feast.

“Good Friday is a time to commemorate Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice,” said Gov. Lemon Palepoi Silage Mauga in a Mar. 29th memorandum in which he declared that Good Friday, Apr. 2nd, is observed this year as a holiday in American Samoa.

“As we reflect upon the Passion of Christ, let us each take a moment to be grateful for the Lord’s continued protection and blessings on our territory,” he said.

“Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend,” the governor concluded.

In his Easter Message to the people of American Samoa, Bishop Peter Brown, leader of the Catholic Church in the territory, declared: “Our Christian faith is a great gift. It gives us many opportunities throughout the year to remember and to celebrate. To remember is to be transformed.”

“The spiritual journey we experience as we approached Easter is filled with memories that prepares us for the most important foundation of our faith, that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead for us. We are people of the Resurrection!” he said.

“Our world filled with pain and suffering due to the selfishness of humanity needs Christ more than ever,” said Bishop Brown. “I pray this Easter will bring American Samoa true peace and unity.”

With today a holiday, all ASG offices are closed and normal activities are suspended. Govt employees required to work today will receive holiday wages in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, according to Lemanu’s memo.

Police plan to increase road patrols to keep the territory’s highways safe and Department of Public Safety urges the community to keep peace and harmony at this time — a 3-day weekend-holiday.

Good Friday is not a national or federal holiday, so all federal offices including the US Post Office are open for business as usual.

However, in observance of Good Friday, several local businesses, including the two local financial institutions, are closed as well today. StarKist Samoa — the territory’s largest private employer — is also off with production to resume Monday.

Samoa News will also not publish a print edition today but will return on Monday, Apr. 5th. We here at Samoa News online — and Facebook— will provide any updates of local and national news during the three-day weekend.

Have a safe Good Friday and Easter Sunday, American Samoa — may each of us remember to care for one another.