Article by Julita and photos by
courtesy of SOCCOM, Tawau
Tawau : The Easter Vigil Mass was celebrated at eight in the evening yesterday 19th April 2014 with the blessing of fire outside of the Church entrance, symbolizing that Christ came into our life as the light of salvation, illumined our darkness and lead us to the path of eternal life.
The mass was presided over by. Fr. David A Garaman and con celebrated by Msgr. Nicholas Ong. More than 2000 parishioners attended the celebration.
This year around, the church witnessed and welcomed a total of 111 catecheumens receiving the Sacrament of Initiation ( Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion ) and another 8 new members accepted into full communion with the Catholic faith. 53 from the RCIA process were baptized on Easter Vigil while another 50 from the RCIC will be administered the following week on 26th April in conjunction with Divine Mercy Sunday.
Fr. David the celebrant began his homily by praising God on high with the Alleluia and continued saying “Easter Vigil is the summit of our church celebration. It is called the “ Mother of all Vigil “ the summit of all Church celebration. It is also the night dedicated to the Lord's resurrection from the dead and expectation of the Lord’s coming to us."
He continued, "Easter is all about Light. The Blessing of Fire and the Paschal candle symbolize the wonders of God’s miraculous and unconditional love to each one of us. God sent his only Son Jesus Christ as light to the world that all who dwell in darkness will experience the light of Christ. We are to imitate him by burying our sins in death and rising to new life through resurrection.
He also addressed the catechumens, “The water of baptism remind all of us on our own baptismal vow. So dear catechumens, your profession of faith to this church has cleansed you from sin and renew you from the darkness to the new life in the light. Walk with Christ, know him and continue to enhance your faith through interaction with other members of the church. May you be always guided to gain deeper understanding of Christ's love and salvation. Together you will cross the valley of death and reach the promised land by the light of Christ. You are the witnesses of God’s wonderful history of salvation."
In conclusion, he said, ”Christ is risen to each one of us. Let us uphold his name. Praise and thank him heartily for bringing us out from darkness so that we will continue to experience his presence in our journey on earth".