SIDON/BEIRUT: Christians across Lebanon celebrated Good Friday, the day on which the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated, with masses, prayer services and reenactments.
In the Sidon village of Qrayyeh, Antony Debbeis bore a crown of thorns and red makeup to symbolize the march of Christ carrying the cross that would be the instrument of his death.
“I didn’t sleep all night when I was chosen for this role,” he told The Daily Star.
More than 20 actors participated in the reenactment on the rainy morning, marching for more than an hour to symbolize the path Jesus is believed to have walked in Jerusalem to his crucifixion.
Christophe Chalhoub, the head of a local Maronite association, said that the event had been taking place in Qrayyeh for decades, beginning from the village’s alleyways and finishing in the town square, where people wait to greet the procession.
“Of course, I do not bear the burden of Christ,” Debbeis said, “but I represent the Christian faith.” The actor then called on Lebanon’s leaders to “return to their senses and pray to Christ.”
In Kaslik, President Michel Aoun attended a Good Friday mass at the Holy Spirit University, accompanied by his wife and prominent Christian politicians including former President Amine Gemayel, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab, Justice Minister Albert Serhan, Labor Minister Camille Abousleiman, Economy Minister Mansour Bteich, Energy Minister Nada Boustani and Social Affairs Minister Richard Kouyoumjian.
In the Marjayoun town of Qlaya, a group of young people raised an 8-meter high cross that weighed around 400 kilograms atop a hill overlooking the Litani River, the state-run National News Agency reported.
“This initiative has become an annual tradition by Qlaya’s youth on Good Friday since 2010,” Mayor Amin Saeed said. There are a total of nine crosses now on the hill, which are brought as high as possible by cranes, before the youth carry them the rest of the way to their final resting place.