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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL HOLY THURSDAY MASS CELEBRATION

BY DALIUS LL, SOCCOM SANDAKAN
Sandakan: This year, Holy Thursday was celebrated at St. Mary's Cathedral on 28th March 2013 with a congregation of more than 1,500 people. The Holy Mass started at 7.30 pm with the Bishop of the Sandakan Diocese, His Lordship Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom as the main celebrant. 
Holy Thursday is a profound religious observance for Catholic faith as it celebrates the institution by Christ himself of the Eucharist and of the institution of the sacerdotal priesthood. The celebration is divided into four parts; the Liturgy of the Word, the washing of feet, the liturgy of the Eucharist, and the transfer of the Holy Eucharist.
The prelate in his homily reminded the congregation that, ‘The command of Jesus which was handed down by the Apostles to us, is not just a memorial or remembrance of the past but that Jesus is really present in every Eucharistic celebration to share His divine life to all of us.’ He added that the Eucharistic Mass is a communion and participation of God’s people with the Lord. We share God’s love without distinction, without discrimination, without looking at one’s skin colour and rejecting all kinds of evil in ourselves that are destructive to our communion with Him. 

Bishop Julius also stressed on the importance of Jesus' humility of service shown by washing His disciples feet and that should be emulated by all and not to be indifferent to others. He reminded that as followers of Christ one should love others freely, with heartfelt compassion, kindness and goodness and it ought to be manifested through the act of service in humility. Bishop Julius concluded his homily by calling upon all the faithful to continue to pray for their priests so that they may  draw strength to offer their humble service to the Lord.
After Holy Communion, the Blessed Sacrament is transferred from the altar to the tabernacle of repose in solemn procession with the congregation singing ‘O Sacrament Most Holy’ and ‘Down in Adoration.’   
At the conclusion of the Mass, the faithful and the various groups in the Church continued adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the night, just as the disciples stayed up with the Lord during His agony in the garden.

Photos by Donny Lee and Terrence Ngui

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