BUKIT PADANG – The mission office of Penampang parish has drawn up specific guidelines starting this year, to be adhered to by 58 registered groups of carolers.
“The church is not giving these guidelines to burden you, but you are to be ethical and systematic in bringing the good news of the ‘Gift of Hope’ to every Catholic home that you are visiting during your caroling.”
Parish priest Fr Wilfred Atin said to choir groups during their commissioning after Mass on 9 Dec 2018 to mark the 7th anniversary of the feast day of Mary Immaculate Conception (MIC) Chapel here at Sukang-Mabpai.
The commissioning took place at the adjacent St William Hall with dramatized carols sung by candlelight, performed by groups representing nine zones under Penampang parish.
Fr Atin explained that caroling was not just about singing any Christmas songs, but to present suitable Advent and commercial-free Christmas songs that are in tune with the Bible verses. The proclamation of God’s Word relating to the coming of Christ is to be included so as to encourage families listening to it to have an in-depth meaning of the celebration.
Prior to sending them out, the carolers were given catechesis on the proper and effective way of conveying the Advent message to every Catholic household that they would be visiting.
The Carols by Candlelight has been a parish tradition as the official launching to kick-start caroling activities within the parish, and is hosted by zones on rotation.
This year, the tiny chapel of MIC Sukang Madpai, which could normally accommodate around 100 parishioners, was packed with faithful more than doubled, filling up the capacity space at St William’s hall. The commissioning event in conjunction with the feast day celebration was an opportunity to bring about mutual visits between the different zones as a pastoral outreach envisioned and encouraged by the Archdiocese. – Soccom Penampang