As Ottawa prepares to kick off a long weekend tomorrow, the city’s Christians are preparing to celebrate Easter with four days of activities.
One of the Catholic church’s best-attended celebrations, Easter is observed by Christians of all denominations worldwide as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, said Father Joseph Muldoon, Episcopal Vicar for the English Sector of the Archdiocese of Ottawa.
Although most think Easter kicks off with Good Friday, it really starts with Holy Thursday, or the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, said Muldoon. The ceremony includes Mandatum, or the washing of the feet, which signifies Jesus washing the feet of the disciples as a sign of humility, love and service, said Muldoon.
"Good Friday is a key pivotal moment- because of the fact that it commemorates the moment of Jesus’ death," said Muldoon.
The city’s Good Friday procession, the Way of the Cross, begins at 9:30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Basilica on Kent Street, with hundreds of people expected to line the streets to attend.
In the afternoon, the service of the Passion is held in most churches at 3 p.m., widely believed to be the time of Jesus’ death.
"People attend in large numbers," he said.
The Easter Vigil, held in parishes across the diocese at 8 p.m. on Saturday, is where members are invited to become full members of the church with baptism services.
On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. All of the churches will be holding special or additional services.