Easter Celebrations held at St. Mary’s Church Al Ain-U.A.E


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By Alphose Mendonsa
Bellevision Media Network


Al-Ain (UAE), 31 March 2013: For Christians all over the globe Easter is the great and most important Festival.  They observed  Holy Week, starting on Palm Sunday that was last Sunday and ending with Easter Sunday i.e. tom but the celebrations have already begun. Easter is considered as the centre point of ecclesiastical and liturgical year. The last three days of the week starting with Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday were the most holy days.  These three days Jesus suffered immensely and  sacrified himself on Cross to save the sinners.  On Easter Sunday he rose from the dead and this is one of the most significant as Jesus rose as he promised in three days giving a new life for all Christians.

 

On easter day oils, water and fire (Easter candle) are blessed to make them holy and use them for the rest of the year for baptism, etc.

 

The Easter Vigils are already begun and most of the parishes in U.A.E have two services to accommodate all the congregation i.e. one in the afternoon and the second at night around 10pm. In Al Ain too the afternoon service began at 4:00pm with a grand procession.  There were three main session of the Easter celebration.  First part is lighting of Pascal Candle.  he Paschal candle is a large, white candle used at liturgy in the Western Rites of Christianity (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, etc.). A new Paschal candle is blessed and lit every year at Easter, and is used throughout the Paschal season which is during Easter and then throughout the year on special occasions, such as baptisms and funerals.

 

The flame of the Paschal candle symbolizes risen Christ as light of the world and his presence in the midst of his people. The Paschal candle is sometimes referred to as the "Easter candle" or the "Christ candle." The term "Paschal" comes from the word Pesach, which in Hebrew means Passover, and relates to the Paschal mystery of salvation. The tall white candle in many ways signifies the Divine pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that lead the Israelites in their Exodus from slavery in Egypt.

 

 

The second part is Word of God wherein five readings were read from the bible beginning with Genesis i.e. Abrahams Faith in God wherein he almost sacrificed his son to obey God’s command but God prevents him at the last moment, pleases with Abraham and promises him prosperity and happiness.  The remaining readings are from the book of Exodus, where God saves his people from slavery of Egyptian Pharaohs and lead them to Israel the promised land.

 

The third part is of renewal of Baptism vows and blessing of holy water.  The Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Anthony accompanied by Rev. Fr. Augustine and two visiting priests.

 

The final part is of holy mass concelebrated by all priests and distribution of communion and final blessings.

 

Rev. Fr. Anthony thanked all those involved in preparations of the Holy week i.e. from Palm Sunday, all coordinators, Lay Ministers, Ushers, Community Leaders, and main importantly rulers of the Nation for the generosity and  love without which the Church would not have existed today.  He also thanked all the fellow priests and nuns for their unending sacrifices and help all through the Holy Week to conduct all services smoothly.  He wished all congregation Happy Easter. The final blessings was given at about 6:30 and the congregation departed to celebrate the Easter.

 

Easter vigil celebrations by the Konkani community of at St. Therese Parish Salmiya, Kuwait.

 

Photos by : Mr. Alban D’souza

The Konkani community of St. Therese of Child Jesus parish in Salmiya celebrated Easter vigil with grandeur on Saturday at 5pm. Fr. Marian Miranda, who conducted retreat for the community in Kuwait celebrated the mass. Fr. Blany Pinto, the Parish priest of the church successfully organized the proceedings. The Konkani choir which was established in 2004, added beauty to the celebration by sining beautiful psalms and hymns.  The church and the adjacent courtyardwas packed with devotees.

 

 

 

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