Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are still getting used to a new normal, but that didn’t prevent Catholics in Trinidad and Tobago from honouring an age-old Christian tradition.
Masked, their hands sanitised upon entry, and social distancing practised, Catholics came out in their numbers at churches across the country, in celebration of Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Sunday.
In Port-of-Spain, at morning mass at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon lamented the prevalence of violence in T&T.
Archbishop Gordon called on citizens to allow light, love and forgiveness into their hearts at a time when deep darkness pervades the country.
“When we look at the ways women have been suffering violence; have disappeared; have been killed, just for trying to get home safely, and that’s a darkness that we have to bring the Resurrection Light to bear upon that darkness. So that, that darkness will scatter…a darkness where people in police custody could be killed,” Archbishop Gordon said.
According to the Archbishop, people should remember that through Christ’s resurrection, death no longer holds power over life.
He said he believed that too many people in T&T were choosing to empower death, instead of appreciating life.
“How often do we make the wrong choice? To believe in the power of the Resurrection is to believe death has no power over us. It is to watch death in the face and say, I am not afraid of you – I make a choice for life and I make it consistently,” he said.
For the violence and selfishness, across the country and world, to be overcome, change must come at a personal level, the head of the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain said.
He called on people to pause and reflect honestly when they feel overwhelmed by negative emotion.
“It’s for each person to reflect on where is the light and darkness in our hearts and then to ask how theresurrection light can illuminate that space—the dark spaces and shadows in our lives because when we are not caring, not loving and when we are not sharing—that’s darkness—that’s shadow,” Archbishop Gordon said.
After the service, the Archbishop said the Easter season was brilliant for the church, adding that the attendance at the Cathedral was a good one.
In fact, he claimed, that attendances in some places were even better than services before the pandemic.
“Many of the churches in the west are overcrowded, so we sent out a message that if you can’t find a place, just come,” he said.
His Grace recalled that last year there were only five people, including himself, at the corresponding Easter Sunday service at the cathedral.
He expressed gratitude that people were able to attend mass in person this year.
“Hallelujah, hallelujah. That’s why it’s so joyful because when you think back at last year and how it was, this year having a congregation is amazing,” Archbishop Gordon said in closing.