SYMBOLIC IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST

Dear Friends,

Sr Mudita Sodder RSCJ; well wisher and regular contributor to SILENT VOICE, has sent another  couple of articles, related to Triduum Services, in Bihar and celebration of Bihar Diwaas, where she is stationed.  Sharing the same with our readers.

SILENT VOICE is grateful to her, and wishes her a good health. May the Risen Christ stand by her to guide her and guide her.

GREG

Dear Greg,

Visited the Archbishop this morning; told him about the beautiful Triduum services. Asked me to write it down for him; sending it to you.
Happy Easter;

Sr Mudita Sodder RSCJ

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SYMBOLIC IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST

Rites and rituals are impregnated with meaning. For every human society, life itself is a celebration of giving meaning to different events of human existence as people encounter changes in their own lives and in the environment around them. For centuries different cultures have experienced life in different ways and these experiences are stored in different rituals, myths and symbols.

In order to be alive and active, a culture has to relive its experiences. This means that the experiences stored in rituals are to be enacted, myths recited, narratives told and retold and events of importance celebrated. These enactments, recitals, tellings and performances transform and enable the people involved to experience the heritage of their culture. Life consists of re-tellings.

Holy Week services at Sacred Heart Church, Patliputra, Patna, Bihar were celebrated with a difference! Palm Sunday was enacted with a palm waving procession symbolically welcoming and joining the Lord Jesus in His entry into Jerusalem sitting on a donkey, a symbol of humility, while the readings for the occasion were done in parts.

On Maundy Thursday amidst the ambience of a well decorated dinner table, thanks to the Ursuline sisters and 7 concelebrants, Fr Devasia the Vicar General of Patna Diocese, the main celebrant, helped by 5 parish Youth (girls) washed the feet of 12 Parish Youth (boys) representing the 12 disciples of Jesus. The message of Servant Leadership and Inclusiveness were thus portrayed and proclaimed loudly and clearly! Parishioner Charles and Mavis Peter later took the 12 disciples to their home to share a sumptuous fellowship meal around the table, while the Religious of the Parish partook of the home-made unleavened bread, symbolic of oneness, bonding and working for the common Kingdom of God! The parish unitedly took turns to sit around the altar of repose, commemorating the watch with Jesus as he sweated drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane. The whole service was a day to remember and a lesson in community building!

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Good Friday began with a Blood Donation Camp in the morning organized by the Catholic Kalyan Samiti under the leadership of parishioners Raymond Osta and Prakash Cherubim, a lesson in Participative Church. Parishioner Mukul opined, “Donating just one unit of blood for another is only a minuscule way of identifying with Jesus who gave every drop of His blood for us”. “The Holy Family Hospital Blood Bank personnel tested my haemoglobin and found it low. I am not worthy to identify with Jesus. They could not take my blood but I get a lot of devotion and I am inspired by all those who eagerly and willing give their blood”, said Sr Wineeta UMI.

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The alleys in front of the Church were all cleaned and watered and well-marked with lime for the Way of the Cross at 3.00 p.m. 14 parishioners have been given pictures of the Stations of the Cross which they have framed and use every year. Each house or group painstakingly put up an altar outside their homes to display the picture of the allotted Station of the Cross.

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 All assembled in the basement of Kedarkunj-the high rise building, to begin the service enacted with the life sized cross carried by the 75 year old Parish priest Fr Devasia who almost succumbed under its weight and other parishioners in turn, together with banners, crosses, mikes, loudspeakers, singing and chanting by all. The huge procession stopped at every altar welling up devotion among the people, as passers-by and others rushed out on to their balconies to witness the scene. What a beautiful and practical way of evangelizing! The church was filled to capacity as devotees bellowed out with full throated voices and “bhakti” the commonly sung hymns. Everything was in Hindi-the national language, lessons in Inculturation, Patriotism and Nationalism. The cross was reverentially unveiled by Fr Devasia VG who used his God-given talent of music, for mission. The day’s fasting was joyfully broken after the Communion service at 5.30 p.m. with a soft drink for all, generously donated by parishioner Remy Osta amidst much camaraderie, a model of a true Christian community.

Holy Saturday is a day of quiet and prayer. Easter Vigil Mass begins on Saturday night and the celebrations culminate with Easter Sunday which is the biggest, most important and meaningful religious festival of Christians all over the world. All this, would not be possible, if it were not for the dynamic, retired, veteran Parish Priest Fr Devasia-a lesson in the Power of One. One person can make a difference and bring about change.

Christians are an Easter people and Alleluia is our name. May the joy of the Resurrected Christ inundate the hearts and minds of all around. Happy Easter!

Sr Mudita Sodder RSCJ

Patna, Bihar

30th March 2013

BIHAR DIWAS CELEBRATIONS!

Bihar Diwas 101st Celebrations from 22nd to 24th March 2013 with “Women Empowerment” as its theme this year was an excellent idea to instil a sense of Bihari pride and to exhort people to work hard to regain the state’s rich cultural heritage and past historic glory. A lot of precious time, energy and public money was spent, as the Pavilions at Gandhi Maidan were aesthetically and exquisitely done. Kudos to Mr Nitish Kumar our CM and his team! What pained me, when I visited the venue on Saturday 23rd March between 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. was the scanty trickle of people, disproportionate to the wonderful exhibits, and the heap of broken plastic chairs, the result of the unruly crowd the previous evening. What appalled me further was the lack of sensitivity on the part of the organisers (especially Mr Deepak Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Environment and Forest Department) to Dharti Maa! All the volunteers were served a sumptuous lunch in smart neatly packed thermocol trays. My heart bled. This is our state. We live in it. Thermocol is non-biodegradable. The manufacture of thermocol releases harmful Chloro Fluoro Carbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere, increasing the hole in the ozone layer, inviting dangerous Ultra Violet Rays into our Planet and adding to Global Warming! Can we afford to do this to our Mother when she is the focus of our celebrations?
A concerned citizen of Bihar,
Dr (Sr) Mudita Menona Sodder RSCJ
Patna
Mobile: 09470652713
Email sodder@rediffmail.com

Map of Bihar showing location of Bhimbandh Wil...

Map of Bihar showing location of Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blog: http://www.silentmaj.wordpress.com

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