ERLC meeting in Penang

“The liturgy touches everyone and it is the most important part of the Church as it deals with the people of God from the oldest to the youngest,” said Bishop Sebastian Francis.

May 23, 2014

By Lucia Lai
“The liturgy touches everyone and it is the most important part of the Church as it deals with the people of God from the oldest to the youngest,” said Bishop Sebastian Francis.

“It is a public service and that is why it is jealously guarded by the Church. That is why no one, priest, deacon, bishop or lay, is allowed to alter it,” he added.

Bishop Sebastian said this during his opening address at the 16th Episcopal Regional Liturgy Commission (ERLC) meeting of the Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei in Stella Maris. The ERLC was held from April 28 to May 2 and was hosted by the Diocese of Penang

The delegates consisting of priests, religious and laity, were from the Diocese of Penang, Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, Diocese of Melaka-Johor, Archdiocese of Singapore, Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, Archdiocese of Kuching, Diocese of Sibu and the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam. There were also observers from the Penang Diocese present.

Bishop Sebastian Francis is the President of the ERLC.

Members went through the minutes of the last meeting which was held at Kota Kinabalu, followed by reports from representatives of the various dioceses. Matters discussed included the mar-riage rite, confirmation rite, translations of the New Roman Missal in BM, Tamil and Mandarin, the funeral booklet and the revision and updating of the Sing Your Praise Hymnal

There were daily prayers/Masses held at different parishes, and the parishes hosted dinner/tea for the delegates. The delegates were also taken on tour to places of interest in Penang.

On the last day, there was reflection and sharing on three questions from Bishop Sebastian.

The next ERLC meeting will be held next year in Sibu. The ERLC was also a farewell for Fr Francis Xavier Selvarajoo who has been at the helm of the Penang Diocese Liturgical Commission for 21 years. In his speech, Fr Francis said “Liturgy should be creative, participative and prayerful. Liturgy is the mirror of the life in a parish. You look at the liturgy celebration of a parish and you will know what kind of life the parish lives. It is basically a reflection of the life of the people. This is what has been guiding me for the last 21 years.”

The last Mass of the meeting was celebrated on May 1 at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, with Bishop Sebastian as main celebrant and all the other delegate priests concelebrating. In Bishop’s homily, he talked about obedience. Obedience, he said does not mean only taking orders.

“Obedience to God is personal witnessing to live the truth.” He said, “It is not blind love but truth from our experiences. Obedience from Jesus Christ to his Father – he speaks God’s word, what he had seen and heard. Obedience should flow from personal relationship, filled with conviction.”

He said that obedience is not a one-off thing but something that we have to live everyday in our lives, submitting to God’s will. This obedience is given to us by the Spirit.

After the post-communion prayer, Bishop Sebastian thanked all the delegates for their presence and also thanked Fr Francis Xavier for his dedication in serving the Liturgical Commission for 21 years. He also announced that Fr Jude Miranda would be taking over as the Head of the Commission from next year.

Total Comments:0