Moodubelle: Easter Vigil observed with significant liturgical services and Solemn Mass

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Pictures by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network



[AbuDhabi] [Kanajar] [Udupi] [Kallianpur]

Moodubelle, 24 April 2011: Prior to the solemn Easter Mass, the most important moment of Holy Saturday is the Easter Vigil which is also known as the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter which is usually observed prior to the solemn Easter Mass. The Easter Vigil Liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church is the most beautiful and meaningful. The Easter Vigil is divided into four parts: Service of Light, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of Baptism, and Liturgy of the Eucharist.


The Easter Vigil Service in St. Lawrence Church, Belle commenced from 7 pm. As the people entered the church, they picked up the candles that were kept at the entrance so that every member of the congregation would have a similar type of candle which they had to light twice during the Easter Vigil and the solemn Easter Mass. Prior to the beginning of the Service of the Light, all lights in the church were put off as the congregation gathered in front of the church. Outside the church, a fire was ignited which was blessed by Fr.Paul Sequeira accmapnied by Fr. Joswey Fernandes and Fr. Lancy Saldanha. He also prepared the Paschal Candle symbolizing the Risen Christ with these words and carvings on the candle.



Christ yesterday and today (vertical arm of the cross) the Beginning and the end(horizontal arm of the cross) Alpha (alpha above the cross) and Omega (omega below the cross) all time belongs to him (numeral 2 in upper left corner of cross) and all the ages (numeral 0 in upper right corner of cross) to him be glory and power (numeral 1 in lower left corner) through every age for ever. Amen (numeral 1 in lower right corner) symbolizing the present year ‘2011’. He then lit the Paschal Candle with the blessed new fire saying “May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.”


As Fr. Paul carried the candle to the main altar in procession, at three different times he sang: Christ our light (Lumen Christi) and the congregation that followed him inside the church replied: Thanks be to God (Deo gratias). Meanwhile, everyone in the congregation lit their own candles from the flame of the Paschal Candle passed on by each other. The Paschal candle symbolizes Christ, the Light of the World.


Next, the glorious Easter song of the Catholic Church: the Exsultet (Easter proclamation) in Konkani was sung by Fr. Paul with his melodious voice. This magnificent hymn, which is remarkable for its lyric beauty and profound symbolism, announces the dignity and meaning of the mystery of Easter; it tells of man’s sin, of God’s mercy, and of the great love of the Redeemer for mankind, admonishing us in turn to thank the Trinity for all the graces that have been lavished upon us. As Fr. Paul sang the Exsultet, the entire congregation stood with lighted candles in silence and reverence grasping each and every word of the hymn.



This was followed by the Liturgy of the Word. Four readings were taken from the Old Testament interspersed with prayer and singing of the Psalms. For the first time after the Lent, the Gloria was sung and thereafter the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans and the Gospel regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ were read.


In his homily, Fr. Paul Sequeira emphasized the fact that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after being Crucified is the foundation of our faith which cannot be shaken by anyone. The Apostles who were with fear following the Crucifixion of Jesus did experience the Risen Christ and became bold and vocal and began to spread the good news.


The blessing of the water kept in a decorated vessel was the next important service of the Easter Vigil. Fr. Lancy Saldanha invoked the saints through the ’Litany of the Saints’ following which Fr. Paul blessed the water as Fr. Joswey immersed the Paschal candle three times in the water. The congregation once again lighted the candles from the Paschal candle and the Baptismal vows were renewed and thereafter all the three priests sprinkled the Holy Water on the congregation.


At the end of the solemn Easter Mass, Fr. Joswey Fernandes extended the greetings of Easter to and invoked the blessings of the Risen Christ on all the parishioners those who are in Belle, in other cities of India and abroad. He also thanked each and everyone who had helped in the smooth conduct of all the services during the Holy week.


The Church Choir trained by Br. Mahesh D’Souza for the Holy Week enhanced the devotion and fervour of the congregation by their excellent singing of the relevant hymns throughout the Holy Week.


Parishioners, who had attended the Easter Vigil and Mass in their festive dress wished each other ‘Happy Easter’ as they came out of the church and proceeded home with new spirit and love of the Resurrected Jesus Christ.


Bellevision wishes all its readers and supporters A Happy Easter.


[AbuDhabi] [Kanajar] [Udupi] [Kallianpur]





Comments on this Article
Alban D souza, Kunthalnagar/Moodubelle Sun, April-24-2011, 10:37
I wish all a happy easter..May the risen lord bless every one with his peace,joy and love..good report by Dr. Eugene nice photos by Mr.Anil.Thanks to BV
Victor DSouza, Moodubelle / Doha Sun, April-24-2011, 1:43
Easter Greetings to all the Parishioners and people around the world. Thanks a lot to Dr. Eugene and Anil for the beautiful report and pictures.
Stephen Castelino, Padubettu / Kuwait Sat, April-23-2011, 11:20
Easter is a promise.God renews us in each spring.May the promise of Easter fill in our heart with peace,joy always....Happy Easter....
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