Good Friday procession a way to experience Jesus' path, Seychelles' Christians say
Thousands of Christians in Seychelles are observing Good Friday and have participated in Way of the Cross processions. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Thousands of Seychellois walked along mostly uphill paths to participate in Way of the Cross processions on Good Friday as a way of remembering what Jesus went through, Christians said.
The processions took place on the island nation's three main populated islands, Mahé, Praslin and La Digue on Friday, a public holiday here.
Men, women and children of all ages took part in what has become a tradition for Christians, mainly the Roman Catholics, in the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. An intense sun brought temperatures to 31 degrees Celsius and 70 percent humidity, giving the walkers a good sweat.
“I go to the Anse Etoile the way of the cross every year on Good Friday. This is my way of experiencing what Jesus went through to save us. I always feel a lot better after having done it,” Annabel Tirant, a resident of La Gogue in north Mahé, said to SNA.
The main procession organised by the Roman Catholic Church, which brings together the largest crowd, takes place in the island nation’s capital, Victoria. Processions took place in most of the 26 districts of the Seychelles.
|The main procession on Mahe was in the capital, Victoria. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Danny Dine, 51, is one who says he always goes to the procession organised at Anse Boileau, in the west of Mahé.
“It was very hot but I managed to complete the course,” Dine said.
On La Digue, the third most populated island, the procession started at 8 a.m. Ifa Fanchette, 27, went along with her daughter and companion.
“Good Friday is when I try to in a way experience the sufferings that Jesus went through,” said Fanchette.
The main feature of the processions is a wooden cross that leads the way, passed on from one person to another along the way.
For the more adventurous going up into the mountains of Trois Freres [three brothers], which overlook the capital, is another option. Although many fail to complete the arduous trail and reach the top where a big cross stands.
“It’s my first time going up Trois Frere this year as I wanted to experience a different type of sacrifice,” 32-year-old Gustave Onezime told SNA.
|Processions were organised across the main inhabited islands, Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. (Romano Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
For the majority of Christians in Seychelles the rest of the day is spent in prayer, fasting and church services, as a way of preparing for the feast of Easter on Sunday.
Easter is the most important Christian celebration in Seychelles. Seychelles has a population of around 93,000 and according to the National Bureau of Statistics 76 percent of the Seychelles population is Roman Catholic, 6 percent Anglican, 2.4 percent Hindu, 1.6 percent Muslim, the rest are of other faiths.