Why is this night so different from all other nights?

The night is different than any other night, he said, because it begins the yearly commemoration of Christ’s life, death and resurrection – His Paschal Mystery.

Apr 04, 2021


By Agnes Chai

Why is this night so different from all other nights? Archbishop John Wong posed this question to the faithful during the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Thursday at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Apr 1.

The night is different than any other night, he said, because it begins the yearly commemoration of Christ’s life, death and resurrection – His Paschal Mystery. Although every Mass is a celebration of this salvific truth, the yearly ritual must draw us even more deeply into encountering the mystical truth of the Love of Jesus, the Lamb of God.

“With this evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper,” the Archbishop underlined, “we begin the Easter Triduum, the Great ‘three-day, but one, celebration of our Redemption’ – Christ’s Paschal Mystery.” Lent has ended and the three-day observance of the greatest mysteries of our redemption has begun.

The night is different, he continued, as we further consider these questions that may cause us to ponder: “Why do we sing the Gloria when in fact it was not being sang throughout the Lenten Season? Why is our music becoming more solemn and simple as the Mass progresses? Why is the priest/bishop going to wash the feet of 12 men? (However, this year the foot-washing ritual is omitted due to the SOP restrictions) Why will there be no blessing and dismissal at the end of Mass? Why will we leave the Church in procession with the Blessed Sacrament? Why do we keep the Silent Vigil?”

To highlight the mystery of Jesus’ Love for us, Archbishop singled out the symbolic washing of feet by Jesus, who put Himself at the feet of His disciples. “Even more extraordinary, Jesus puts Himself quite literally into the hands of his disciples.”

The Archbishop invites the faithful to immerse into the Love of Jesus through encountering Him who awaits us in the symbolic rituals of the Paschal Mystery.

About 800 parishioners could only be accommodated within SOP restrictions, a far cry from the thousands who used to pack the Cathedral and the adjacent parish hall in the pre-COVID era. However, thanks to technology, thousands were able to follow the Mass online via YouTubel.

Also at the altar was Fr Joshua Liew who concelebrated with Archbishop Wong.––CS

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