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Holy Week, the Paschal Triduum, and Easter Sunday were deeply meaningful celebrations that took place in our Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, Kuantan, this year. Surprisingly, many parishioners attended all the liturgical celebrations from Holy Week to Easter Sunday. Despite the hot and humid weather, with temperatures at 34 degrees Celsius and above, parishioners never failed to participate in the liturgical celebrations during this period. We are fortunate to have an air-conditioned church, which allows us to participate in a comfortable atmosphere.


The Easter season commenced on Easter Sunday, and we will continue to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus until Pentecost. With faith in the Risen Lord, we can maintain a sense of joy even when faced with sadness and tears in our lives. Joy is a deep gladness within us that cannot be taken away, even in the midst of sorrow, pain, failures, and tears. Renewing the baptismal promises is a way of demonstrating our commitment to Christ and His Church. Through our renewed baptismal promises, we have experienced a sense of newness with positive attitudes by appreciating and complementing one another.


We, priests, too, must renew our priestly vows yearly. On 19 March 2024, a week before Holy Week, the priests in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur gathered at the Church of the Christ the Light, Kuala Lumpur, for Chrism Mass. One part of the liturgical celebration was renewing our priestly promises, which helped us feel more affirmed in growing and refining our priesthood for the betterment of our ministry in various parishes. We commit ourselves to serving the spiritual needs of the people of God throughout our Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur.

On Easter Vigil, our Parish welcomed eight newly baptised individuals. Three were from the Chinese-speaking community, and five were from the East Malaysian community. Additionally, two candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and one of them was received into “full communion with the Catholic Church” during the Vigil celebration. On Wednesday, 3 April, 2024, the RCIA facilitators had fellowship with the candidates. We pray that they will deepen their spiritual lives, stand firm, and be courageous in their faith in Christ.


On Easter Vigil, the Paschal candle is an important symbol representing the light of Christ’s resurrection. It also symbolises Christ's purity and new life in Him, while the incense reminds us of the five wounds on Christ’s hands, feet, and side. This year, we used a Paschal candle made of beeswax for the first time. A beeswax candle is seen as a way to honour the work of the bees and their role in the ecosystem.


On Easter night, the Church sings the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet), in which the word “bees” appears twice – “... the work of bees... drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious.” We pray that this Easter season be fruitful, that we make our way towards Pentecost, and that we, as a Parish community, will reach spiritual heights. May the burning flame of the beeswax Paschal candle, a product of the mother bee, uplift our spirits to experience the kindness of God and taste the sweetness of His word and His commandments (cf. Psalms 19:11; 119:103).

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