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Christians celebrate their holiest week

Posted: March 21, 2008 11:48 p.m.
Updated: May 23, 2008 5:02 a.m.

The cross was placed at the center of the altar during the Blessed Kateri Catholic Church's Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday.

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Whether it's waking up extra early on Sunday to join a local church during a sunrise service, watching a play about the life Jesus Christ or listening to a choir illustrate the story of Easter through song, multitudes of local individuals and families will gather on Easter Sunday to worship together. The holiday celebrates the Christian belief that Christ was resurrected after dying on the cross. And for many Christian church leaders, this most significant of holy days is associated with themes of renewal and reflection.

"Easter is something that has multiple facets to it," said Daniel Luther, a member of the children's ministry team at Grace Baptist Church in Saugus. "It's a time when people can reflect, and also a time of celebration and renewal between themselves and God and their walk with him."

The holiday also offers individuals a chance to look at the wrongs they have committed while celebrating the "great and wonderful things God has done," Luther said.

For the Rev. Rachel Allen of Santa Clarita United Methodist Church in Saugus, Easter serves as a reminder that "God can transform the worst of situations into something new."

The act of resurrection itself demonstrates this, she said.

But ultimately, Easter and its accompanying celebrations are meant to send a message.

"I would hope that (churchgoers) learn an appreciation for what God has done for (them)," Luther said, adding that a personal relationship with God can also be created.

Allen sees the predominant message that "God is good" and "God is love," but that even during the most troubling times, God can signal a transformation that goes beyond any sort of expectations.

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