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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday Service at St Mary's Cathedral

The Bahasa Malaysia Congregation
The Bahasa Malaysia EMC
Sandakan : On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Good Friday, in the Veneration of the Cross, in the reading of the Passion, and in receiving the pre-consecrated Host, we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord.

The inscription - Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudeum  (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews)
A huge crowd of parishioners attended the tri-lingual Station of the Cross held at the compound of the Church beginning 9.00 am. The event started with the first station in front of the Grotto and ended at the fourteenth station at the open space beside the convent. At each station parishioners meditated and prayed as the story was related.
Fr Erik Jerome
Good Friday Services were held in St Mary's Cathedral at 1.30 pm in Bahasa Malaysia and at 5.00 pm in English presided over by Fr Erik Jerome and Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom respectively. The Chinese Good Friday Service was held in St Joseph's Church, some four kilometers away from town, celebrated by Fr Francis Chong SJ. The same service was also held in  St Paul's Church Ulu Dusun  presided by Fr Phillip and Our Lady of Fatima's Church Beluran presided by Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of the Cathedral.

Bishop Julius in his homily said that we join millions of other faithful throughout the world this day to venerate and honor the Christ crucified ~ the King who reigns from the Cross. It is in the Cross that reveals the purest meaning of unconditional, infinite and boundless love to all mankind.

As we look at the Cross it reminds us of something else, it reminds us of our sinful state not only as individual but the sinful state of the whole mankind. It is true that Jesus was crucified by the Jews 2,000 years ago but it is also equally true that we continue to crucify Him whenever and wherever we act indifferently to others, holding on to the attitude of being selfish and refusing to get involve for  the growth of our community or in short we fall into sins.

Congregation of the English Good Friday Service
Jesus death on the Cross not only remind us of God's love and mercy but it also remind us of our sinful condition and our perpetual need to be forgiven and to be redeemed by Him.

He continue to say, 'By the end of the service today, we will come forward to venerate the Cross, adoring our crucified King but let this act of veneration be not an empty ceremony but let it be a  sincere  token of prayer to Him to  remind ourselves in praying to our Lord;

'Lord, Master of love, 
take hold of me, a sinner
and give me your Holy Spirit 
so that I may share your glory of  resurrection
and share your glorious new life'

This is the wood of the cross, on which hung the Savior of the world
Come, let us worship

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