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KOTA KINABALU – The Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese received with joy over a thousand new members this Easter either at the Easter Vigil, 31 March 2018 and on Easter Sunday morning, Apr 1.
With few exceptions, the elect in the different parishes received the preparatory rites on Holy Saturday morning Mar 31. Some received the sacraments at the Easter Vigil while others received theirs on Easter Sunday.
The children were given anointing after baptism while the adults received Confirmation and Holy Communion.
Among the neophytes were some who were accepted into full communion with the Catholic Church.
During the Easter Vigil at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Karamunsing, Archbishop John Wong led the congregation to welcome the 59 neophytes into the parish community. Concelebrating with him were Abp Emeritus John Lee and Father Simon Lim of Singapore.
The Vigil comprised four parts (1) Service of the Light – the people gathered at the parish centre foyer for the blessing of new fire, the lighting of the new paschal candle and the procession with lighted candles (from the paschal candle) into the darkened cathedral. When all had entered the church, the Exsultet was partly sung and partly proclaimed by Deacon Russell Lawrine.
(2) Liturgy of the Word. Three Old Testament readings were proclaimed before the Gloria was sung followed by a New Testament reading and the Gospel according to Mark.
(3) Baptismal Liturgy which began after the homily. Baptism was administered either by immersion or infusion by the deacon. While waiting for the neophytes to return from changing into their baptismal garments, the faithful renewed the promise of baptismal faith together with those who entered into full communion with the church. The children were anointed with chrism while the adults were conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation by Abp Wong and Abp Emeritus John Lee.
(4) Liturgy of the Eucharist. The bread and wine together with other gifts were brought forward by the newly baptised. At Communion time, the newly baptised received Holy Communion under both kinds.
The next day at the 7 am Chinese Mass, Abp Wong had no assistant so he had to baptise the 39 elect himself while at the 10:45 am BM Mass there were around 84 elect, some of whom he baptised (men) and the others by Deacon Russell.