Harvest festival at the Church of Christ the King

It was a joyous celebration at Christ the King Church, which held its first ever Hari Gawai, Kaamatan and Panen festivities on June 30.

Jul 12, 2019

By Anne Haslam
It was a joyous celebration at Christ the King Church, which held its first ever Hari Gawai, Kaamatan and Panen festivities on June 30.

The morning Mass was packed with parishioners. Many from various East Malaysian ethnic groups and from other Christian churches joined in the celebration which marked the end of the harvest season.

Before the Mass, parish priest Fr Victor Louis conducted a short ceremony outside the church where a Thanksgiving Tree was erected for this year’s good harvest. He also invoked blessings for next year’s harvest.

There was a riot of colours as dancers representing the different ethnic groups of Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia in colourful attire performed various cultural dances like the Sumazau and the Ngajat dances during the entrance and offertory processions and the close of the Mass.

Relating the importance of this work with the Gospel reading from Luke 9:51-62 where Jesus says, “Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God,” Fr Victor urged everyone to be similarly committed to the mission to follow Christ.

“We have to be fully focused on the mission, like a man who has his hands firmly on the steering wheel. Do not be distracted by all your worldly affairs but give a 100 percent commitment to follow Christ,” he said during his homily.

Fr Victor added that we should follow the example of Elisha who, in the first reading, showed his full commitment as he settled all his earthly affairs before following Elijah as his servant.

During the offertory, all the different ethnic groups offered fruit, vegetables and cooked food representing the abundant and varied produce of the land.

After Mass, a sumptuous lunch was served whilst the crowd was entertained to various song and dance performances at the church’s pastoral centre.

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