Each year, the celebration of the Lord's Passion and Death is one of the most well attended event in the parish calendar. Traditionally, early in the morning, the Stations of the Cross will be prayed continuously from 8 o'clock onwards in the various different languages until noon when the parish priest himself will lead the celebration. Normally, the girls from the neighbouring Pulau Tikus Convent will join in praying the stations station.
This year however, there was only one set of stations prayed at 9.30.
At about 2, the Church began to fill up. When the liturgy finally begins at 3, the hour of the death of the Lord, there is a standing room only crowd.
The sanctuary and altar, stripped and stark, visually sets the mood for the liturgy. The glory is veiled. All the statues and the main cross is veiled in mourning purple.
You can see the 5 crosses, symbolizing the wounds of Christ, carved into the mensa of the altar. The altar stone, covering the 'tomb' of the relics of the martyrs and saints interred within the altar can be seen.
of liturgical abuse fame, has only 4.
The priests (we had 3, Frs, Marshall [discalced], Ross and Fabian Dicom, Chancellor of the Penang Diocese) processed in silence before prostrating themselves before the altar while the congregation knelt.
The head at the bottom right corner is mine.
Fr. Ross brought in the Holy Cross and unveiled it, singing 'Behold the Wood of the Cross, on which hung the Saviour of the World' while the people responded 'Come let us worship'.
The cross was then slowly unveiled. You can see the standing room only crowd which filled the Church.
The server on the right, Byron, had just had an operation to have his appendix removed on Easter Sunday. Do keep him in your prayers.
Behold the wood of the cross, on which hung the Saviour of the World.
Followd by Fr. Fabian.
The servers then venerate the cross.
Here you can see the smaller crosses used for the veneration.
|V/. Popule meus, quid feci tibi? aut in quo contristavi te? Responde mihi.|
V/. Quia eduxi te de terra Aegypti, parasti crucem Salvatori tuo.
C/. Agios o Theos!
V/. Quia eduxi te per desertum quadraginta annis, et manna cibavi te, et introduxi te in terram satis bonam: parasti Crucem Salvatori tuo. C/. Agios o Theos!
V/. Quid ultra debui facere tibi, et non feci? Ego quidem plantavi te vineam meam speciosissimam: et tu facta es mihi nimis amara: aceto namque sitim meam potasti: et lancea perforasti latus Salvatori tuo. C/. Agios o Theos!
V/. Ego propter te flagellavi Aegyptum cum primogenitus suis: et tu me flagellatum tradidisti.
R/. Popule meus, quid feci tibi? aut in quo contristavi te? Responde mihi.
V/. Ego eduxi te de Aegypto, demerso Pharaone in Mare Rubrum: et tu me tradidisti principibus sacerdotum. R/. Popule meus.
V/. Ego ante te aperui mare: et tu aperuisti lancea latus meum. R/. Popule meus.
V/. Ego ante te praeivi in columna nubis: et tu me duxisti ad praetorium Pilati. R/. Popule meus.
V/. Ego te pavi manna per desertum: et tu me cecidisti alapis et flagellis. R/. Popule meus.
V/. Ego te potavi aqua salutis de petra: et tu me potasti felle, et aceto. R/. Popule meus.
V/. Ego propter te Chananaeorum reges percussi: et tu percussisti arundine caput meum. R/. Popule meus.
V/. Ego dedi tibi sceptrum regale: et tu dedisti capiti meo spineam coronam. R/. Popule meus.
V/. Ego te exaltavi magna virtute: et tu me suspendisti in patibulo Crucis. R/. Popule meus.
|V/. O my people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I afflicted thee? Answer me.|
V/. Because I led thee out of the land of Egypt, thou hast prepared a cross for thy Savior.
C/. O holy God!
V/. Because I led thee out through the desert forty years: and fed thee with manna, and brought thee into a land exceeding good, thou hast prepared a Cross for thy Savior. C/. O holy God!...
V/. What more ought I have done for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard: and thou hast become exceeding bitter to Me: for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink: and with a lance thou hast pierced the side of thy Savior. C/. O holy God!...
V/. For thy sake I scourged Egypt with its first-born: and thou hast scourged Me and delivered Me up.
R/. O my people, what have I done to thee? or wherein have I afflicted thee? Answer me.
V/. I led thee out of Egypt having drowned Pharao in the Red Sea: and thou hast delivered Me to the chief priests. R/. O my people...
V/. I opened the sea before thee: and thou with a spear hast opened My side. R/. O my people...
V/. I went before thee in a pillar of cloud: and thou hast led Me to the judgement hall of Pilate. R/. O my people...
V/. I fed thee with manna in the desert; and thou hast beaten Me with whips and scourges. R/. O my people...
V/. I gave thee the water of salvation from the rock to drink: and thou hast given Me gall and vinegar. R/. O my people...
V/. For thy sake I struck the kings of the Chanaanites: and thou hast struck My head with a reed. R/. O my people...
V/. I gave thee a royal sceptre: and thou hast given to My head a crown of thorns. R/. O my people...
V/. I exalted thee with great strength: and thou hast hanged Me on the gibbet of the Cross. R/. O my people...
Server Mark, venerating the cross.
Preparations for Holy Communion.
The extraordinary ministers (the only thing I find extraordinary is the sheer number of ministers, but I digress) going up to receive Holy Communion.
The purification of the vessels.