It's tradition in Fiji for the children in Methodist churches to lead worship on Palm Sunday, to wear nice white clothes, sing, pray, recite little Bible readings, take up the collection, and preach in a style mimicking their elders. Isa, this year some children this weekend don't have their nice clean white costumes because they were lost during the recent cyclone, and the children from the beach house at Nukutatava destroyed by the fire last Monday. Life seems to be full of dangers and sudden shifts.I found a few photos to post here, some from the Fiji papers and some are mine. I also posted one pic of three children at the Altona Meadows/Laverton Uniting Church Fijian congregation.
Some migrant communities also celebrate Children's Sunday on Palm Sunday, such as the Wesleyan congregation that meets in Coburg where Peceli visited today. It is interesting that many Fijians abroad take with them many of the associated customs of the church from back home in Fiji rather than join in with the church culture of the country they move to. They may find the music quite different, the style more informal, and even the theology more liberal! Some Fijians join in with Australian churches, others want to belong to a congregation that uses the familiar Fijian language, music and styles of worship.In my vavalagi church in East Geelong we decorated the building with (fake) palm leaves, clothes, rocks and gave each family either a woven palm cross or a Mexican cross made with sticks and coloured wool. I played the music and included 'Jesus Christ Superstar' music which really dates me! I had to help with music at a second church this morning, St Andrews, as their 91 year old organist has been ill. It was lovely to play on a huge Fincham pipe organ, though I really think the church today needs young people with keyboards and guitars and modern Christian songs to alternate with traditional hymns. I wish... Aussie people could sing a capella like Islanders!