Good Friday and Easter Sunday Special Days for Haitians of Every Faith

Haiti Easter celebration begins with Good Friday. Good Friday is a sacrosanct day for Haitians be they Catholic or Evangelical. The vast majority of the population in Haiti attends Good Friday services. Churches have certain customs they follow that differ from one congregation to the other. In local parishes, such as the Haitian Maranatha Bible Church, seven clergymen come to sermonize, each one of them on one of the last seven words Jesus spoke before he died upon the cross.


Haitian Maranatha conducts its Good Friday services in French and Creole languages. But at other churches an English translation is projected as the priest sermonizes. Easter hymns are also sung in all three languages by different-sized choirs.

Most churches on Easter Sunday conduct mass before the sun rises, as early as 4 or 5 a.m. Parishioners precede the Easter service by parading through neighborhoods singing in preparation for the Easter service.

Rev. Benjamin Emmanuel, who is head of Haitian Maranatha, says the Easter services overflow with joy with the singing of hymns like "He Lives", which speaks of the resurrection of the body and life eternal. All churches, whatever denomination they profess, serve Communion, a mandatory practice.

Haitians dress in their finery according to their means and consume special Easter meals. Wealthy people might prepare a turkey while people of more modest incomes make meals of chicken, rice, and beans.

So religious is Haiti even nightclubs indulge in Easter celebrations of their own creation.

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Read more: Catholic, Good Friday, Religion

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