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JIS News

Come Sunday, August 3, Jamaicans will be able to celebrate and worship in the first ever open air National Thanksgiving Service, to mark the start of Independence celebrations.
The National Thanksgiving Service, to be held in Emancipation Park in Kingston, will feature two sections – the pre-service performances from 5:00 p.m. to 5:55 p.m. and the worship service at 6:00 p.m.
Chairman of the Committee for the Planning of National Religious Services, Reverend Dr. Peter Garth, is encouraging Jamaicans to come out in their numbers and be a part of a family celebration.
“Independence is a time when persons celebrate and get together and we figured that if we had it in the open air it would have a greater reach,” said Rev. Garth in an interview with JIS News.
“We are inviting Jamaicans to come on down, even if you have to stand in this great service of celebration and thanksgiving,” he said.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall; Prime Minister Bruce Golding; Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson Miller and other members of the Government will be in attendance. The Party leaders will read passages of scripture while Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, will deliver an address.
Rev. Garth said he hopes the service, to be held under the Festival theme: ‘One Love, One Family’, will inspire Jamaicans to reflect and rediscover the yearning for love, togetherness and family, on which the country was built.
“We are hoping to get the message out that we are one people. It is one Jamaica and we need to return to love, to just love one another and recognise ourselves again as family,” he said, adding that the message should resonate across the island.
“There will be steel bands, dance and the national choirs in the first section. There is going to be a transition between the first and the second sections, where there will be a very interesting reading that reflects on the past, coming right up to this point in time and this will be the transition, taking us from the celebratory part into the service of thanksgiving,” Rev. Garth explained.
Performers will include Anna Strachan, 2008 Gospel Song winner, Rohan Clarke, and Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2008, Katrina Grant.