As part of our emphasis on prayers and worship around the world in the weeks leading up to Easter, we bring you a Scripture reading in Amharic, the language used by members of Ethiopia’s Meserete Kristos Church.
In the Meserete Kristos Church, the days leading up to Easter are a time to focus on Jesus’ suffering. “We feel that painful time of Jesus. We feel how much Jesus suffered. We feel that suffering,” said Rediet Abebe, a minister in the Meserete Kristos Church who is in Lancaster County, Pa., with her family now.
Members meet together in the evenings of the week before Easter to worship, pray and share the word of God together. “Saturday night, we spend together the whole night,” Abebe says.
From 9 p.m. Saturday until 5:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, the congregation prays, worships, sings songs and reads Scriptures. “We read about the suffering, the death and the resurrection of Jesus. We sing songs about Jesus’ suffering time. In the middle of the night, we take communion together,” Abebe says. “At 5:30 everyone lights a candle.”
The congregation takes lit candles out into the streets, walking together and singing of Christ’s resurrection until about 6:30 in the morning. The rest of the day is a time for family and friends. There are gifts of food and clothing. Neighbors are invited in to eat together and talk about Jesus’ resurrection.
Listen as she reads Romans 8:1-11 in Amharic.