Muscat, 04 April 2010: During the Easter Vigil and Mass in SS. Peter and Paul Church, Ruwi-Muscat, in a meaningful homily relevant to the Easter, Fr. George Oliver from India quoting St. Augustine said, “We are the Easter People and Alleluia is Our Song”. Explaining the meaning of ‘Alleluia’ Fr. George said that ‘Alleluia’ means ‘Praise the Lord’, the word that was not uttered during the liturgical service for the last forty days of Lent, a period of repentance and penance.
Fr. George said that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ following his death on the Cross is the gift of God the Father to his Son Jesus Christ and to all of us. Peace is the gift that the Risen Lord gives to the entire world. By his death on the Cross, Jesus emptied his divinity and his humanity and because of this sacrifice of Jesus he was raised from the dead by his Father. Jesus is the gift of God to humanity.
The resurrection of Jesus is his victory over the sinful nature of humanity. Further, Fr. George emphasized the fact that the story of Jesus never ends with his death on the Cross but continues forever because of his resurrection. Fr. George Oliver had preached earlier on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
The Easter Vigil Service in the Ruwi-Muscat Church was led by the Parish Priest Fr. Raul Ramos assisted by Fr. George and Fr. Mathew. The liturgy began in the darkness with the lighting of the new fire and the lighting of the Pascal Candle. Gradually all the assembled faithful lighted their candles and the Pascal candle was brought and installed on the stand near the altar.
The liturgy of the light was followed by the Liturgy of the Word in which four passages from the Old Testament were read. These were from the Book of Genesis, the Book of Exodus, Prophet Isaiah and Prophet Baruch. These readings were followed by the Gloria during which Fr. Mathew lifted the veil from the statue of the risen Christ. Following the reading the passage from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans and the Gospel, Fr. George Oliver delivered the homily.
After the homily the water was blessed and the Baptismal Vows were repeated. Thereafter the priests sprinkled the new Holy Water on the gathered faithful both inside and outside the church. The Liturgy of the Eucharist continued with the Mass and at the end Fr. Raul wished the parishioners of Ruwi a happy Easter.
The entire Easter Vigil Service and Mass that was started at 9pm continued till 11.30 pm. A large number of people attended the Easter Vigil service and the festive Mass. Those who could not get place within the church were provided with the close circuit television screens outside from where they could follow the entire service live on the screen. The Easter Vigil Service was conducted in a solemn, dignified and devotional manner. The readers of the scriptures were well prepared and the choir sang in melodious voice. The altar servers and the Eucharistic Ministers who occupied the front benches added to the aura of solemnity with their liturgical dresses.
Soon after the end of the Mass, people in their festive dress were seen greeting each other and even hugging and wishing their family members and friends the happy and joyful Easter.
Courtesy: Bellevision Media Network