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The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Are you being fed in the Church?

Holy Thursday marked the beginning of the Easter Triduum Celebration that should not be missed by any professed Christian Catholic. What an awesome three day celebration, as we commemorate the last few days of the life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Were you able to stay awake from 9pm until midnight?

During the Easter Vigil service I'm asked the question; "how can people leave the Church" after going through such an experience? Growing up I can recall trying to find every excuse in the book why I did not want to attend the Holy Week services. The main reason being that they lasted too long. Last evening I could not believe the time when I looked at my watch and realizing that 4 hours had since passed.

Quoting from Fr. Lou Guardiola of "Fathers of Mercy", where he states that people who leave the Church claim that the reason they left was because they were not being fed, Fr. Guardiola reminds us that we are being fed, we're being fed with the God food of the God man, "Our Lord Jesus Christ". Every time we participate in communion at Mass we are being fed. Do not take the Eucharist for granted. Many persons wish they were able to receive the Body of Christ as often as we have that opportunity.

Just imagine every Catholic Church all around the world were going through the same rituals during the Easter Triduum as your Parish. How awesome is that? Last evening at the Easter Vigil many of our local Parishes had at least one or more new members enter the Church. At St. Thomas More Parish we proudly welcomed Kevin Jones into our faithful community.

The Easter Vigil Liturgy is the most beautiful liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church that marks the beginning of Easter. The service is divided into 4 parts; the service of light, the liturgy of the Word, the liturgy of Baptism and the liturgy of the Eucharist.

With all of the members outside of Church the Priest blesses a fire that was lit. From this fire the paschal candle is lit. It's a large candle which symbolizes the Risen Christ. From the flame of the paschal candle all of the members light their own candles. Then the procession begins back inside the Church with the Priest and Deacon leading the way with the paschal candle.

Once inside the Church with the the Church still dark and only the candle lights shining, the long awaited glorious Easter song was sung by our Priest, the Exsultet(the Easter proclamation).

A sample of the Exsultet:
"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".

After hearing readings from the Old Testament including the story of creation, the story of Abraham and Isaac, and the crossing of the red, the Gloria is sung before the reading of the Epistle or Romans, then the Allelulia is sung before the Gospel of Mark is proclaimed. Even after hearing so many readings, there still was a burning desire to hear more.

After the homily, our newest member to be “Kevin Jones” was then invited forward along with his sponsor as he was Confirmed into the Church by being the first person to use from the newly Blessed Chrism Oil that was recently blessed at the Chrism Mass a little over a week ago. The faithful were then invited to renew their baptismal promises and dip into the Holy Water.

Kevin was the first to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ during communion, then all were invited to join at the sacrificial table that Christ prepared for us through his death and resurrection.

So why would anyone feel as though they are not being fed at the Catholic Church, especially if they are participating in the service through song and prayer. We are all expected to take part during the service. Are you doing your part?

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