Holy Week and Easter Triduum were celebrated joyfully with a multitude of Parishioners assembled in Church. The celebrations were wonderful and a little different, as Covid-19 rules and regulations have been more relaxed since the start of April 2023. Furthermore, the weather was pleasant throughout all the celebrations, and many of our local Parishioners participated in Masses and services. About 30 Orang Asli, 80 Indonesian migrant workers and 20 varsity students were also among those present at our Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday celebrations.
This year, we were blessed to experience every ritual and rite of the Holy Week celebrations. We had a procession on Palm Sunday and Liturgy of the Light on Easter Vigil. We also had the washing of the feet for selected Parish youth and altar servers on Holy Thursday and the Veneration of the Cross, which invited everyone to come closer to the Cross to venerate with a bow or genuflect and touch. All these rites and rituals were performed with great solemnity.
During the Liturgy of the Word on Easter Vigil, we read all nine readings from Genesis through to the New Testament - leading us to Christ, the True Light. The baptismal liturgy was performed with the presentation of the catechumens for baptism. This year, we had a total of 20 adult catechumens initiated into the Christian community, most of whom were East Malaysians. There were 14 candidates for Baptism and 2 candidates from the Protestant tradition coming into the Catholic faith. Confirmation also took place at the same time. During the Holy Communion, the neophytes received their First Holy Communion. Most of the Baptismal liturgy rites and rituals were solemnly celebrated in Bahasa Malaysia. It was the first time in our Church’s history that such a large number of catechumens received the Sacraments of Initiations.
We have always been grateful to all the RCIA facilitators and godparents/sponsors for guiding and journeying with the catechumens. They have been coaching, praying and assisting to bring them closer to the Sacraments of Initiation. It is the role of the Parish community to welcome and guide them in the life of the Church.
We are now in the midst of Eastertide! Easter is the oldest and most historical festival in our Roman Catholic Church. We celebrate the victory of life over death through the Resurrection of Jesus – “the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalms 118: 22). The builders are the elders, chief priests, Scribes and Pharisees, who have rejected Christ (cf. MK 8: 31). Now Christ has become the cornerstone of the Church. He reaches its culmination with the Resurrection and His Resurrection has become the cornerstone of our faith in Him.
During this Easter season, we encourage everyone to read of Christ’s Resurrection. As we read about the Resurrection for the next couple of weeks, let us meditate on the readings and how the resurrection can change our faith and life as we go forth, proclaiming the Good News that Christ is risen, truly, He is risen! He is alive in us today.