By Ononye VC
Prayers,songs and praises heralded the New Year (2022)at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity,Onitsha where the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha,Most Rev Valerian Okeke led over a dozen priests and hundreds of faithful to usher in the new year.
At about 9pm on the eve the new year(31st night),the Basilica was already overflowing with worshippers who came to pray in thanksgiving to God and usher in the new year.
The Archbishop in his opening remarks said,”we’ve come together in faith and joy to thank our gracious father for his love and faithfulness.We cannot thank him enough for all he has done for us in the past year.We pray Him to usher us into the new year with blessings and his abundant grace”.
The Archbishop also prayed for peace in Nigeria and especially Anambra State so that the new year will be a new beginning of good things in the state.
The Archbishop reminded the congregants that in addition to the new year celebration that the church was also celebrating the Solemnity of Mary,the Holy Mother of God who the Archbishop described as a way to mediation.
According to the Archbishop,the Blessed Virgin Mary is a mediator who helps in mediating between the faithful and God and therefore deserved to be venerated and celebrated.
“This year is for you to take Mary home.If you do so,things would be well for you”,the Archbishop admonished.
He pointed out that it was necessary for the faithful to begin the year with a mass so that the promises of the Lord to them would be accomplished.
Minutes before it clocked 12am,the Chancellor of the Archdiocese Very Rev Fr (Dr) Prudentius Aroh,led the congregants in songs and praises to God in appreciation to God for the new year.
Some of the jubilant congregants danced and raised their hands while some were embracing each other.
Earlier,the Chancellor had enlightened the congregants on the meaning of the yearly midnight Cross Overs to the next year.
According to him,before a “Cross Over” would be complete,it must have 5 ingredients which include, thanksgiving,presence of God,gratitude,new year resolution and commitment to hands of Blessed Virgin Mary.
Rector of the Basilica Very Rev Fr Nwokedi Francis Ezumezu thanked the Archbishop for being available to celebrate the “Cross Over” mass adding that his presence was an additional blessing to the ocassion.
The new year excitement triggered deafning sounds of fireworks shot by the youths outside the premises of the Basilica.

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