Enugu: Top govt functionaries, public servants partake in Ash Wednesday church service
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state, his wife, Monica, leaders and members of the state House of Assembly, and members of the state executive council were among the huge congregation that gathered yesterday at the Government House, Enugu at a special Ash Wednesday Mass held to kick off the 2016 Lenten season.
Chaplain of the Government House Chapel who preached the sermon on the occasion enjoined Christians to forfeit their pleasures but embark on intensive prayers, fasting and arms giving during this Lenten period so as to properly purge themselves of their old sinful ways and accordingly put the state on a path of moral rearmament.
The Catholic Chaplain Government House, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Chinedu Ozor-Ude, who made the call in his sermon officiated during the service held at the frontage of Lion Building, Government House, Enugu.
Deputy Governor of the state, Hon. Cecilia Ezeilo, represented Governor Ugwuanyi on the occasion at which principal officers of the state assembly were also in attendance.
Rev. Fr. Ozor-Ude told the congregation that the celebration of the mass of Ash Wednesday, reminds the faithfuls that they came from dust and in dust shall they return.
He explained that Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lenten period of forty (40) days and urged them to use the opportunity to repent of their sins by eschewing their favourites and maintaining good relationships with their neighbours as Christ did while on earth.
According to him, the occasion reminds the congregation that they are weak in spirit and needed wholesome approach towards close observance of the activities of the Lenten rituals.
In a homily, the Dean Student Affairs, Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, Rev. Fr. Remigius Ibudialo, urged the people not to be selfish in their endeavours but rather to be their brother's keepers in order to please God and humanity.
The first and second readings of the church service were read by the Head of Service, Mr. Chidi Ezema and the Chief of Staff Government House, Enugu, Mr. Victor Atuonwu respectively.
The church service was attended by the wife of the Enugu State Governor, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, the Deputy Governor, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezilo, Commissioners, SPAs, local government caretaker committee chairmen among other government functionaries, the clergies, Rev. Sisters and workers as well as the security agents
The church service featured special prayer said by Pastor Onah Christian of the Winners Chapel Enugu, praise singing and the anointing of the ash on the fore-heads of the congregation.