Archdiocesan Multicultural Mass 2017
A Great Bond of Faith; a Great Hymn of Hope
The archdiocesan Multicultural Mass held at the Cathedral of St Stephen on the 27th of August, once again, drew a large number of people from many different countries of origin.
The Archbishop’s message
Main Celebrant Mark Coleridge remarked at the start of his homily that this Multicultural Mass gathering reminds him of one of the great Masses at St Peter’s in Rome where people gather from all over the world to worship.
“Every skin colour, every language, every culture – it’s magnificent!” the Archbishop commented.
“And yet for all the variety, there is an astonishing sense of unity; and not just unity, but a sense of family. I don’t know how else to describe the bond that is there. And it’s all the more extraordinary because this is such a huge crowd and yet the bond is almost intimate like a family,” he said.
This bond that brings people together in the Cathedral is reflected in the unity and cooperation among various communities which makes Multicultural Mass possible.
In Archbishop Mark’s words, “In one way or another, in one language or another, from one culture or another, we all put our faith in Jesus Christ crucified and risen.”
“The hymn that we sing today in all our different tongues but with one heart, is in fact the hymn of hope grounded upon the fact that Jesus Christ destroys all the barriers and makes us one people.”
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The entrance procession at this year’s Multicultural Mass acknowledged and interpreted in a local setting the universal theme embodied in Pope Francis’ message for the 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees: ‘Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless’ — a parent/guardian leads a child migrant in a safe and nurturing environment.
In the global phenomenon of migration that has made itself comfortable in the movement of people from around the world in the last few decades — from an engaging exchange of cultural experiences, trade and technology to the more sinister maze of human trafficking, what the Pope says rings true:
“Each person is precious; persons are more important than things, and the worth of an institution is measured by the way it treats the life and dignity of human beings, particularly when they are vulnerable, as in the case of child migrants.”
On addressing this pressing challenge, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Bishop Delegate for Migrants and Refugees, issues a plea:
“We need to raise awareness of those issues which face vulnerable, and particularly trafficked children. We cannot remain silent. Raising awareness and as a community bringing about concrete change will help child migrants in all situations grow and flourish…”
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As It Happened
A quick run through the order of liturgy: The entrance procession hymn was led by the Korean Gloria Choir; acknowledgement of Country was delivered by Uncle David Miller accompanied by didgeridoo player Elwyn Henaway; first reading in Brazilian Portuguese; responsorial psalm by the Latin Americans; second reading in Albanian; gospel acclamation by the Fijians; the Gospel sung by Melkite Priest Fr Elie, Prayer of the Faithful petitions read by representatives from the Chaldean, Latin American, Timor Leste, Filipino, Maltese, Croatian and Polish communities; procession of gifts by the Samoan Choir; the ‘Holy Holy’ sung in Aramaic by the Syrian Catholic Choir, the Mystery of Faith and Amen sung by the Tongan choir and ‘Lamb of God’ sung in Cantonese by the Chinese Choir. Communion hymns were sung by the Maronite, Syro Malabar, Vietnamese and Burundi choirs. The recessional hymn and procession was sung and led by the Papua New Guinean community.
As in the past, this year’s Mass was a result of cooperation between the various ethnic communities in the archdiocese, their Chaplains, the Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care and a number of agencies in the Archdiocesan Precinct.
Refreshments were made available after the Mass through the generosity of various ethnic communities. Archbishop Mark and the Chaplains mingled with the crowd after the Mass and were very obliging with those requesting for snap shots and selfies.
The afternoon’s cultural performance line up included a Peruvian solo dance, an Indonesian modern dance, a Tongan Mako, a Papua New Guinean traditional song, and a Syro Malabar prayer dance. But there’s more: an added surprise was an impromptu cultural dance by a group of Syrian and Iraqi newly arrived migrants. This wonderful sense of ‘family of different cultures’ joyfully ended with almost everyone in the crowd joining in to dance the Macarena.
[Source: What’s Up? September 2017]
Photos on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/multiculturalpastoralcare/