April 12, 2016

Easter Triduum 2016

St. Gerard's Church assumed an air of solemnity and devotion on Maundy Thursday, marking the beginning of the Easter Triduum - the greatest celebrations of the liturgical calendar. At the service that evening, Fr. Francis washed the feet of 12 members from the congregation, both men and women. After the Eucharist, the solemn procession made their way out of the Church with Fr. Francis taking the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose where the faithful waited in anticipation to pray and adore the Lord. For the next few hours until midnight, a holy hour was conducted before the altar by different Catholic groups and communities from around Wellington. At midnight, the statues and the crucifix were all covered as a preparation for the Paschal mystery to unfold.

Good Friday was a day of prayer and fasting. After the lauds in the Church at 8am, all the community went over to St. Joseph's church where we led the Stations of the Cross in an outdoor gathering together with the parishioners. At 3 pm, the Good Friday liturgy and the homily given by Fr. Alliston, encouraged us to reflect on the priceless sacrifice of the cross which won our redemption. The climax of the day took place with the screening of the film "Passion of the Christ" a film that never fails to bring tears to our eyes.

Holy Saturday this year started with Lauds and the Office of Reading at 8am in the Church. This year is really special as we celebrated Easter Vigil Mass was celebrated in St. Gerard’s Church after Many Years. The liturgical celebrations started with the service of light that happened at the car porch. As the congregation proceeded into the church, the blessed new fire became the source of light for the paschal candle and our individual candles. The celebration in the church continued with Fr. Alliston chanting the Exsultet. In the liturgy of the word, we heard the history of salvation with the proclamation of seven readings from the Old Testament followed by the Great Gloria right before the epistle was proclaimed and the then the great Hallelujah as we acclaimed before the Gospel. Fr. Francis preached the homily that centred on the good news of the resurrection. The celebration then continued at our dining room.

On Easter Sunday at 10.30 am, the celebration at St. Gerard's was special one. The resurrection of Jesus was clearly evident by the joyful celebration of the Eucharist. The priest, the acolytes, the choir and the congregation were swept into a spirit of true Easter joy. The celebration ended as always with a marvellous spread on the table in the dining room where we all gathered for fellowship with a song in our hearts. There is no doubt that we are a joyful people and Hallelujah is our song!

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