Saturday, November 10, 2007

Blessing of Religious Items

Some time back, by a blessed and most fortuitous chance and through the good offices of Mark, the need of a parish far away for a new Marian statue for a grotto that was going to be built was made known to some faithful here in Penang.

Once this was known, good souls here rushed at the chance to help out to glorify God and His saints. Within the day, word was spread and within two days, a substantial sum was collected, exceeding our expectations. With cash in hand, we let our imaginations run wild and soon came up with grandiose conceptions of an outdoor altar where Mass can be celebrated before the grotto. We also ascertained that an altar cross was needed, as was a processional cross.

On the 2nd day, a group made the trip to the local Catholic shop to source for these items. After having made it known to the non-Christian proprietor that these articles were destined to a faraway Church, we got a hefty 30% discount! Wow... more money for us to spend =))

We also managed to collect a healthy sum for some painting to be done.

The result of that largess can be seen below.

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The crucifix, I thought, would be a great altar crucifix. If placed in a stand, it can be used for the adoration on Good Friday as well.

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The Marian image I selected for the grotto was a bit unusual and according to the request of the parish priest, under whose auspices this project is undertaken. It is an image of Our Lady of Victory where she is depicted crowned and cradling our Lord Jesus. I think Our Lady of Lepanto will bless the community which honours her greatly.

Seeing that family is an important these in the Malaysian Church and how the breakdown of families is a particular concern is some areas of society, the group also decided to honour the Holy Family that by their patronage, families will grow closer together and practice the Christian virtues.

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The blessing was done in the Chapel of the Stella Maris seaside retreat house where the priests were having their retreat.

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The image above is of Our Lady of the Jubilee, the Malaysian conception of Our Lady, dressed in traditional Malay attire. Before her is the Child Jesus, also in traditional Malay attire, cradling the world in His hands.

The photo below shows the crucifix in the chapel.

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In the photo above, Fr. D is unwrapping the crucifix for the blessing.

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The ceremony begins with the singing of hymns.

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The celebrant was His Grace, Archbishop Emeritus Anthony Soter Fernandez of Kuala Lumpur. His Grace was using the Rite of Blessing of a Crucifix and the Rite of Blessing of an Image of the Virgin from the Book of Blessings.

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The service was concluded with the singing of some hymns.

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Archbishop Soter poses with Fr. D and with the people. I hope that through the medium of these images, the people of that parish might come to grow closer to God and to His saints that their merits and prayers may sustain and protect them.

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I leave you with this image of the tabernacle, from the chapel. I'm glad it's veiled properly.

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So, if you know of a parish that needs something, why don't you just pass the message along. You never know what might happen.

3 comments:

M@rK said...

At last, some pictures of this event I missed. When is the grotto going to be blessed?

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

fabulous...

Andrew said...

Mark, apparently, it's this weekend.