Friday, April 24, 2009

Easter Vigil 09 @ IC

The Easter Vigil was a grand occasion, the Christian people gathering to wait for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus and to proclaim and acclaim that fact to a world in darkness. The final part of the Triduum, the Vigil began with the Service of Light. This year, it was held at the almost completed Shrine to St. Chastan, our past parish priest.

Now that's what I call a fire =)

The rubrics call for the Vigil to start after darkness has fallen and this year, we started at 9PM which is one hour later than last year. It also calls for the New Fire to be sufficiently bright to dispel the darkness of the night. And so we prepared a huge fire this year. Tip to servers and sacristans, drop pieces of candle wax into the fire just before the ceremony begins for that bright glow.


The people gathered round, with the servers as the priest began the age old Rites of blessing the Paschal Candle.


The people closely follow the Rites.



The candle, the symbol of Christ the Light, is inscribed with the following:

Christ yesterday and today (as he traces the vertical arm of the cross),

the beginning and the end (the horizontal arm),

Alpha (alpha, above the cross),

and Omega (omega, below the cross),

all time belongs to him (the first numeral, in the upper left corner of the cross),

and all the ages (the second numeral in the upper right corner),

to him be glory and power (the third numeral in the lower left corner),

through every age and for ever. Amen (the last numeral in the lower right corner).

2 0

0 9


When the cross and other marks have been made, the priest may insert five grains of incense in the candle . He does this in the form of a cross, saying:

By his holy

and glorious wounds

may Christ our Lord

guard us

and keep us. Amen.


The priest lights the candle from the new fire, saying:

May the Light of Christ, rising in glory,
dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.


The people then follow the Light of Christ into the darkened Church.


The people then light their candles from the Paschal Candle symbolizing their being enlightened by Christ. The priest will intone "The Light of Christ" 3 times, each time on a higher key while the people respond "Thanks be to God".

Our hero Mr. Kevin Choo helping the people light their candles from the Paschal Candle. Newly joined, this was his first time serving Easter Vigil and I think he did an excellent job, beside the steady Keshure. Both are students in my Confirmation Class.

The final Lumen Christi at the sanctuary



The people with lighted candles in the Church.


They hold their lighted candles for the singing of the Exultet, the ancient proclamation of the Resurrection.


Then come the many readings starting from Genesis 1, to the Fall of Adam (the felix culpa, the O Happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam that has gained for us so great a Redeemer) and the protoevangelion of Gen 3:15, the Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea and others chronicling the many times God has saved His people and continues to save His people. The readings are interspersed with Psalms and songs taken from the Bible. Then the Gloria is then sung and the bells of the Church rung while the lights are turned on.


The Litany of the Saints. Yes, I know we are supposed to stand during the Easter season but hey, kneeling is better than standing cos these people need the kneeling once in a while.


The liturgy then continues with the Blessing of the Water which recalls the action of the Holy Spirit at Creation, when He hovered over the waters which baptism mirrors as all the baptised are a new creation, the waters of the flood through which sin was destroyed, the parting of the Red Sea by which Israel is liberated from slavery and the baptized liberated from the bondage of sin and the passing through the Jordan River through which the people of Israel entered the Promised Land and the elect enter into the Church. The Paschal Candle is dipped 3 times into the water to recall the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan.



Several catechumens were Baptized that night.


We also had a Rite of Reception where one promized to believe all that the Catholic Church teaches as revealed by God.


The laying of hands.


The anointing with Chrism, the sealing with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.


It was a moving and touching moment for these new brothers and sisters to be welcomed into the Catholic Church and the people of God.



The Mass then went on as usual with a full complement of servers.


Hope your Holy Week has been blessed. Any photos you wish to share? Do drop me a message in the com box.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mass of the Lord's Supper @ IC

The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper was a simple affair this year. No Rite of Reception of the Holy Oils. Just Mass and the Mandatum and adoration.


Above you can see the men selected for the washing of the feet. Included were several students from my Confirmation Class. I think the exposure is a good thing.


Joining us this year was Fr. Decroix, MEP. Fr. Mark our assistant priest said the Mass. A full complement of servers was also present.


After the Gospel, the Rite of the Washing of the Feet began. The priest removed his chasuble and washed the feet of 12 men, representing the 12 Apostles. The priest washes their feet in imitation of Christ the Lord in a gesture of humility and service.


Above, Fr. Mark washing the feet of Evan, our Youth Leader and Kevin, my student, below.



In imitation of the great John Paul II, Fr. Mark kisses their feet in a sign of service and humility. It's an admirable and praiseworthy gesture. You can see how this act affects those whose feet are being washed and I can imagine that the response of the Apostles when Jesus washed their feet would have been the same.



Young and old, of differing backgrounds, just like the Apostles. All received the same treatment.





It was a very solemn moment. Very intense.



You can see the additional hosts being consecrated for the Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified on Good Friday.


When the Mass was over, a very simple altar of repose was set up at the for of the sanctuary and priests and people together adored the Lord in prayer.



Many stayed back to watch and wait with the Lord Jesus as he had requested. "Could you not watch and wait with me one hour?"


The images below was of the Adoration at the altar of repose set up in the Garden Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. But this year, due to fears of rain, the adoration was moved inside the Church.



Monday, April 20, 2009

Please pray

Dear readers,

I'd like to request that in your charity, you'll pray for a person who's at a crossroads in life and a very important one at that.

We are seldom at a crossroad but often we criss cross over the parallel roads to Heaven and to Hell. But sometimes, we do come to crossroads and a choice is demanded of us. "Choose this day whom you will serve." These words are now posed and demand an answer. The current path only leads one way. I sense a demonic influence and I'm praying hard that the power and love of God, who is now locked out, may overcome this and once again reign in the heart that He has made, in the soul He has called.

Please pray that the Lord Jesus, who had himself defeated Satan and overcome temptation, may illumine the heart and send sufficient grace for what needs to be done.

Beloved Jesus: Lord, King, Savior, God and all in all. You who are God, but also were man, Who was tempted by the devil as any other human being. Please give the strength, the courage and the fortitude to your servant to reject sin, to turn away from the path of perdition and the grace to remain spotless as You are and the fortitude to remain in the path of Light and Truth regardless of the temptations that may and will come.

My God, You have said that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Send, Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit, to strengthen Your servant in this moment of trial that the flesh may be mastered by the Spirit of Truth and of Love and may once again be a clean and fitting Temple.

O Lord, in You and You alone I place my trust, my God and my Father. Do not abandon your child, whom You have chosen and called to yourself. Rescue O Lord, and remain forever with the one you have chosen.

On my knees I cry out to You O God. From the depths let my prayer rise to the heights of Your Throne. Hear me my Father, in my distress I call out to You. With You all things are possible and nothing can separate those whom You have called from Your love and mercy. Your mighty arm has saved, Lord. Once again I beg You, Father, to stretch out Your arm, once again, Lord, save your people, your child.

Thy will be done.

O Mary, my mother. O Mother of grace and mercy, though your child has departed from you, though the your child's face is deliberately turned away from you, remember Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that once you were Mother and once your child approached you in prayer and asked for your help and intercession, your protection and your prayers, now and at the hour of death.

At this crossroad where one path leads to the death of the Spirit, O Mother, pray that your child may choose the path of Life and of fellowship with Jesus your Son. Pray O Holy Mary, that your child may choose the path that leads to eternal life, to eternal joy, to eternal happiness and bliss with God and His angels and His saints.

Pray O my Mother, that the power of the Seducer of men, the Father of Lies and Prince of this world may falter over your child and the door through which Satan enters the heart may be closed and sealed shut and that the power of Jesus your Son may triumph once again and reign and rule over the heart of the child you have called your own and have called by name.

In my distress, my anguished appeal is poured forth before your throne, where no plea, no cry, is unheard and left unaided. Mother of God, have mercy on me and despise not my petition but in your mercy, hear and answer me.