We have been reminded that in the face of tragedy we are all human.
United in grief, a wonderful cross section gathered to show solidarity at a recent vigil. People have said we need to come together more if anything is going to change.
It is going to take everyone. A movement.
There are plans for a National Day of Peace — a call for all sectors of our island to meet shoulder to shoulder to start this movement.
These questions arise at this time of the year with the reminder of reconciliation beneath the cross of Jesus and power for transformation at the empty tomb.
Amid the anger, injustice and violence, Jesus willingly takes on to himself the mess of the world's ills. From the cross he prays for his killers: “Father forgive them they know not what they do.”
Forgiveness is not about waiting until the person who hurt us feels our pain before we let it go. It is an act of grace. In the pain we choose to forgive and release. When we do, the animus and hatred we feel is replaced with a desire to see the other set free. Ironically, in doing that we are set free ourselves.
There is much need for forgiveness in our community life: in and between families, across racial and political divides. We can hold on to past grievances — or forgive one another — just as God forgives us. Having been forgiven, we can reach out to one another across the divides.
Easter is all about reconciliation, forgiveness and new beginnings. Our Good Friday kites and hot cross buns symbolise the fellowship we can have with each other and of the cross which enables it to happen. The Easter Lily, like a trumpet with the scent of spring, reminds us of the sweetness and purity of love and forgiveness.
May God's blessings be yours this Easter.
David Burt Premier
Easter is a time of renewed hope and optimism firmly rooted in the Christian tradition.
As Bermudians, we look forward to the warmer weather of spring and summer, and see that promise of new life in our children and families as we enjoy those local traditions that have come to be a part of this celebration.
This weekend is an opportunity for families and friends to reconnect around timeless customs that define Bermudian culture: making beautiful tissue paper kites and getting them as high as possible; playing marbles and jacks; skipping and participating in games of hopscotch while sampling a variety of hot cross buns and fishcakes to determine whose are the best.
We remember those who have recently lost loved ones and embrace them with extra love and care.
The true meaning of Easter is to be found in the resurrection of Jesus the Christ and in Bermuda many rise early on Easter morning to greet a new day with worship services filled with that same spirit of hope and renewal experienced by the earliest Christians.
However you spend this Easter,please be extra careful while driving and riding around Bermuda.
From my wife, Kristin, and our family to yours, I wish you a happy and safe Easter holiday.
Jeanne Atherden Leader of the Opposition
In the spirit of Easter, we should take time to reflect, make deliberate steps to rise up above adversity and then embrace new beginnings which offer hope for the future.
In Christianity, Easter signifies Christ's crucifixion on the Cross and His resurrection three days later. Centuries later, we still acknowledge the significance of these events in a way that is special to us, attending church, hunting for Easter eggs, eating hot cross buns and fish cakes and going out on a field or beach to fly kites.
For me, Easter also signifies a time of great loss, contemplation, rejuvenation and most significantly, new beginning and hope for the future.
These Easter thoughts are more relevant this week when I reflect on all of the sadness and sorrow we experienced over the last week. Together it makes me renew my commitment to work for the benefit of all those who are suffering in any way, all those who need our thoughts and prayers. I know that for every dark night there is a brighter day.
In the spirit of Easter, we should take time to reflect, make deliberate steps to rise up above adversity and then embrace new beginnings which offer hope for the future!
Right Reverend Wieslaw Spiewak Catholic Bishop of Hamilton in Bermuda
And so we made it!
Not only in the sense of being able to spiritually complete our Lenten journey, but also in having a chance to live physically another Easter.
There are many people, some of whom we knew and loved, who did not make it. This is a good time to remember them. May their souls rest in the peace of the resurrection.
This Easter occurs in a more and more torn and broken world.
Politically, we still cannot find solutions to conflicts, wars and terrorism. There are renewed tensions between countries, ethnic groups and religions happening all the time.
Economically, the struggle with rich economies becoming richer and poor economies becoming poorer continues, increasing the possibilities of new commercial wars.
Socially, we still do not know how to solve the problem of refugees and migrants who are often seen as a threat and not an opportunity.
Religiously, we are still divided despite the many beautiful declarations and promises.
Personally — for each of us — we know where each of us are.
The risen Jesus comes to our wounded world, shows his wounds and says: “Peace be with you.”
His peace is not just an emotion nor a feeling of the moment. His peace is the fruit of his suffering and death.
His peace is the result of patience and perseverance.
This is why, I believe, it is a credible sign of hope in the midst of the wounds, the hurts and deaths.
Peace be with you, dear good people. I strongly pray that you would have a blessed and happy Easter.
Imam Basim Muwwakkil Bermuda's Masjid Muhammad
We would like to extend best wishes to our brothers and sisters in the Christian faith at this special time of the year for them.
It is our understanding as Muslims that Prophet Jesus lived and gave his life, so that others may live, be resurrected, come to descent living and live the life that G-D the Creator, of all in the heavens and earth, intended for humanity.
Sadly, in the world today, there are many people who are unable to enjoy life. Many are oppressed. In Islam, oppression is regarded as worse than death.
Like Prophet Jesus, all of the prophets were sent to uplift humanity from oppression, depression and hopelessness. They were sent to give us hope faith and the cultivation for a better life.
Friday is a special day for the Muslims in that we have our weekly congregational service and we are called to prayer and cultivation. In prayer there is life and in cultivation there is life.
As Muslims, we believe this is what Prophet Jesus and all the Prophets taught their followers.
So indeed, our best wish for humanity is that we come to a full and complete life; that is, a life engaged in all forms of progressive activity which G-D wants for us.
To this end, may the peace that G-D created, be with us at this time and for ever.
Ginny Ferson Acting Governor of Bermuda
For me, the Easter message is one of love and selflessness. It is a time for us all to reflect on what we can do to help others.
Throughout our lives we meet challenges, troubles and hardships. If we are fortunate, we have loving families and friends who can support us through difficult times, but some are not so fortunate.
So I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who put others before themselves, who make sacrifices to help other people, be they friends or strangers.
The Easter message is also one of hope and rebirth, and in that spirit I look forward to seeing the wonderful kites soaring high, indulging in plenty of chocolate eggs and eating delicious fishcakes on hot cross buns, a combination I never dreamt of before coming to Bermuda.