This year’s Easter Celebration was a bit different from the others. It was my third time to celebrate this wonderful celebration out of the country. The first one was in Japan when I was there from business trip, the second one was again in Japan last year (it was only now that I realised I’ve celebrated such wonderful events in Japan. Oh I do love that country!) and the third one was here in Australia.
I’ve been an active member of the Parish since I got here. Most of my friends are from the Parish and I do enjoy helping and be part of the community. This year’s Easter Triduum was quite different. In the Philippines, I never get to be involved in our Parish but am always present in our procession. It’s a bit required in our family. Anyway, this year I will tell you what we did in St Mary’s Parish.
It started Maundy Thursday. The washing of the feet was celebrated at the 6.30pm mass in the Parish. I volunteered to be the Eucharistic Minister for that mass. I then wondered why this mass is a bit new for me. Then it dawned on me that it was my first time to actually see the washing of the feet. Or maybe I did but am not bothered to actually be in that moment. It was a humbling act for me to wash someone’s feet. I wonder what the priests were thinking washing the “apostle’s” feet?
That night, we also had our Passover meal. It was again my first time to experience this kind of tradition. We had some unleavened bread and other symbolic meals on the table and we had some readings and explanations. The whole meal took more than 3 hours I guess because of the readings. It was a bit tiring but a really good way to understand what had happened before.
Then Good Friday, we were in the Parish as early as 10am to be part of the Family Stations of the Cross. My friend, Ate Sally and I planned to do the “Visita Iglesia” that we normally do in the Philippines. However, to our dismay, most churches are closed during Good Friday so we won’t be able to finish the 7 churches if ever. So we decided to stay at St Mary’s to do the stations of the cross.
I had a little break before the next Parish celebration of the Passion at 3:00pm. So I went home and took a rest and just came back in time for the Passion. On the way home that day, I saw this image that I think translates to “Cross = Love“. Seeing the image, what do you think?
When I get back to the Church, it was just in time for the Passion Gospel. I volunteered to be part of the Veneration of the Cross and as a Eucharistic Minister as well.
Then Black Saturday, we just stayed at home and rest. We just prepared at around 3pm for the Easter Vigil. That night, we did the Jesuit tradition of the Easter Vigil. We welcomed and baptised new Christians in our community and had a LOT of readings too. It was almost a 3-hour celebration of God’s resurrection. By the end of the night, everyone is greeting each one a Happy Easter! I wore white as a tradition and was really coincidence that my “girlfriend”, Natasha was wearing white as well.
In the Philippines, when we do the Easter Vigil we normally sleep in and won’t go to mass the next day. However, here in Australia, it’s a bit different. Hahaha! Well, we can choose not to but we have to. Why? It’s a different experience! Our family was tasked to do the balloons for the 9:00am Family Mass. We were in the Parish at 7:00am and started blowing the balloons with helium then tie and setup the church. Since we had another family helping us, we finished everything in an hour. According to them, it’s a record breaker! We had breakfast at the Ron Dyer Centre after setting up the Church.
How awesome was that?! Yellow balloons all over! I was one of the Eucharistic ministers that time and we gave the balloons to the children after the recessional. It was really amazing! I can tell you, it was exhausting but worth it.
How did you celebrate your Easter?
I would love to hear your story.