Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
On Sept 13, the first day of the Triduum, the Mass focused on healing. There was a special healing prayer for those who were in need of healing, followed by the anointing with holy oil.
The celebrant was Fr Dominic Santhiyagu, parish priest of City Parish. In his homily, he spoke about ‘wounded healers.’ He said that when we ourselves experience pain and suffering, then we will better understand how others feel, so we become ‘wounded healers’ to them.
The second day focused on youth with Fr Gerard Theraviam as the celebrant. As it happened to be the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Fr Gerard, in his homily started off by explaining about the origin of the feast.
Fr Gerard then urged everyone, especially the youth, not to be afraid to ‘take up their cross’ and follow Jesus as the cross is our password to heaven. “Do not turn away from the cross but embrace it,” he said. “Mary took up the cross willingly. Remember that she said,
‘Do whatever he tells you’, so you too must take up the cross. When you do, you will feel a sense of peace and joy.”
After the homily, all the youth were called up to the front to be prayed over and blessed.
Parents were the focus for the third day. Rt Rev Susaimanickam, Bishop of Sivagangal, India, was the main celebrant, together with Fr Cyril, also from Sivagangal Diocese.
“The chief characteristic of Christianity is joy – crucified joy. This joy flows from the Cross. In Mary’s suffering, she experienced this crucified joy,” said Bishop Susaimanickam.
He also talked about the Word of God. He informed the laity that during the Synod of Bishops 2008, the Pope had expressed this very important message about the Word of God: “All authentic and living Christian spirituality is based on the Word of God proclaimed, accepted, celebrated and meditated upon in the Church.” He said all of us must bear in mind this very important fact.
He said Mary is a good example of one who accepted the Word of God, pondered on it and lived it. He wrapped up his homily by calling on the congregation to experience the crucified joy of Mary and for parents to bring the Good News to all, starting with their own families.
All the parents were called up for special prayers and blessing after the homily.
Bishop Susaimanickam, Fr Cyril, Fr Dominic and Fr Julien Leow celebrated the feastday Mass on 16 Sept. The focus was on the family. Fr Cyril, in his homily, talked about love which keeps the family together through thick and thin. He invited the congregation to reflect on the family as :
— a home of love.
— a school of learning
— a temple of exercising our faith.
After the post-communion prayer, there was a simple ceremony to launch the ‘125 years of the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows’. Fr Dominic, together with the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) and BEC Coordinating Team chairpersons unveiled a colourful streamer to announce the celebration. — By Lucia Lai
Taken from Herald, 14 Oct. issue