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Chinese New Year Mass 2018

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by Leonard Pasqual

SIC was packed to capacity for the 10 am Mass on Friday 16 February to mark Chinese New Year, with many in the congregation dressed in red and shades of this auspicious colour. The bilingual Mass, in Mandarin and English, was celebrated by St Ignatius Church (SIC) Parish Priest Fr Andrew Wong CDD. Concelebrating with him were SIC Assistant Parish Priest Fr Lawrence Ng CDD and Fr Francis Ng CDD. The three priests were also in red vestments, in keeping with the theme for the day. The Mass was also signed for the benefit of the hearing-impaired.

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In his homily, Fr Andrew said people ask for prosperity and blessings for Chinese New Year but he wondered what was the kind of blessings they really want. He said making lots of money may sometimes not be a real blessing. To be happy and prosperous should not refer to money but to put to good use our talents and gifts from God. Internal peace was also what we need, he added. Fr Andrew also spoke about the characteristics of the dog as we enter the Year of the Dog. He said the dog was brave and faithful to its master. He said Jesus is our master, and asked whether we are faithful to Him by being brave to lead a good Christian life, by being sensitive and caring to others. Besides the bread and wine, four other items were taken up at the offertory – flowers (to request adoration and admiration), red candles (for hope and peace), new year cakes (unity and fellowship) and fruits (happiness and achievements).

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The rite of commemoration of ancestors was held at the end of the Mass. It is an act of filial piety to honour our departed loved ones on the first day of Chinese New Year. The three priests bowed three times before the ancestral tablet, followed by the congregation. Flowers, wine and fruits were also offered as part of the ceremony. Frs Andrew and Lawrence then distributed ang pow to the congregation, who also received mandarin oranges distributed outside the church by the hospitality ministers. The morning concluded with an energetic lion dance at the foyer of the church. SIC wish all a Blessed and Happy Chinese New Year!

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More photos are available at flickrlogo.

 
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