The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd will hold its Dedication Mass on Feb 14 at 7 pm. There will also be an additional 12 days of celebration at the cathedral to allow Catholics from all over the archdiocese to be part of this joyous occasion.

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, being the “Mother Church” of the archdiocese, will celebrate her dedication on Tues, Feb 14, at 7 pm.

This celebration is more than consecrating the building of a cathedral. It is a historic event for our archdiocese as we are celebrating the 120th anniversary of the cathedral’s consecration on Feb 14, 1897. This celebration is an archdiocesan celebration; a celebration of all Catholics in our archdiocese because we all belong to our “Mother Church”.

The cathedral is the Mother Church because she gave “birth” to all the other 31 Catholic churches in the archdiocese. As everyone in the archdiocese is rightly called to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event, all evening Masses on the day of the dedication have been cancelled so that more can join.

This celebration and joy will span an additional 12 days to provide ample opportunity for Catholics from all over the archdiocese to be part of this event.

Dedication rites

The dedication of a church, more so a cathedral of an archdiocese, is a very solemn celebration. The rite begins with the entrance into the church followed by the sprinkling of the church and the people (who are the spiritual temples), then the walls of the church, and finally, the altar.

After the Liturgy of the Word, the Litany of the Saints is sung followed by the depositing of the relics of a martyr (St Laurent Imbert) and St Francis Xavier. This ritual denotes the fact that the sacrifice of the members has its source in the sacrifice of the head, and that the sacrifice of the Mass is always enjoined to the communion of saints followed by the Rites of Anointing.

Archbishop Goh will preside over the Dedication Mass and other activities during the days of celebration.

By virtue of the anointing with chrism, the altar becomes a symbol of Christ “The Anointed One”. Incensation, covering and lighting of the altar are symbols of the prayer of the Church and her mission to be light to the nations.

When the altar has been prepared, the bishop celebrates the first Eucharist upon the newly dedicated altar, which is the principal and integral part of the rite of the dedication of a church. This is so because the altar is the symbol of Christ, the “keystone” of the Church built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20)

12 days of celebration

Biblically, these 12 days of celebration symbolise the fullness and completeness of the celebration; the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 apostles. These celebrations will begin with each of the five district parishes hosting their “district Masses” at 7.30 pm each night, through a celebration of a distinct theme of the Good Shepherd.

Before the final blessing at these Masses, cathedral rector Msgr Philip Heng will welcome and present the cathedral’s pastoral vision and mission, and encourage everyone in the archdiocese to unite and build the archdiocese into a “vibrant” Church envisioned by Archbishop William Goh.

Wed, Feb 15:
The first of the “district parishes Mass” is hosted by the City District. The Good Shepherd theme taken up is Hospitality. The Good Shepherd invites us personally into a relationship with Him, that we too become more like Him. Hospitality is a doorway for us to help others hear that they are each called by name and be welcomed into the sheepfold.

Thurs, Feb 16:
The Serangoon District celebrates Mass with the theme of Mercy. Through baptism, Jesus (the Gate), we are offered the gift of protection and pasture by the Good Shepherd. We likewise share God’s
compassionate love with others.

Fri, Feb 17:
The North District celebrates Mass with the theme of Generosity. This theme emphasises the Father’s desire and will (John 3:16) to embrace and restore His creation to fullness. The Good Shepherd will lead all to green pastures; follow Him; listen with a big heart.

Sat, Feb 18:
Young people take centrestage. The archdiocese’s Office for Young People (OYP) will gather at the cathedral from 7.30 pm until midnight for praise and worship, adoration and confession, and prayer ministry. The theme is Welcome to the Father’s House. Archbishop Goh, who holds a special place in his heart for the young, will address them at 9.30 pm. Please bring your friends along

Sun, Feb 19:
A day of celebration when our Mother Church reminds and renews us to live the Gospel of Christ’s preferential love for the poor and needy. To witness to this social mission commitment of our archdiocese, the 5.30 pm Mass presided by Archbishop Goh will focus on Mercy and Compassion.

This Mass and the exhibition that follows will see the participation of archdiocesan social mission organisations represented by Caritas and its affiliates. At 12.30 pm, the cathedral’s Social Mission Ministry will distribute the weekly lunch packs to the poor and needy.

Mon, Feb 20:
The East District celebrates Mass with the theme of Compassion. All people desire and feel deeply to be known and valued. Inspired by the Good Shepherd, we are called to value each person, not so much by their achievements and usefulness, but by seeking to know them personally and intimately.

Tues, Feb 21:
The West District celebrates Mass with the theme of Witness and Service. Jesus, the Good Shepherd “sends” us forth to the other sheep that “do not belong to His fold”. He commissions us to continue in His mission of building communities that are modelled after His heart that longs to save all people.

Wed, Feb 22:
Msgr Heng will give a talk and lead a reflection on Spirituality from 7.30 pm to 9 pm. He will focus on surrendering our lives to the Good Shepherd so that we will be strengthened in our resolve to grow in His love regardless of the challenges we face, in the daily living of our faith. He will also introduce some basic “insights” on how to live a more discerning life.

Thurs, Feb 23:
The “Catholics Come Home” Mass at 7.30 pm will be a call for all Catholics who have been “away” from the Church to “come home”. This Mass is coordinated by the Cathedral Working Adults Committee and presided by Archbishop Goh.

All Catholics are encouraged to bring a friend to this Mass, especially someone who has stopped coming to church. The theme for the Mass will be Comfort and Assurance. Following the Mass, from 9 pm to 10 pm, there will be briefing for small groups on Eucharistic Adoration and a tour and reflection on the Cathedral Landscape Gardens.

Fri, Feb 24:
There will be a Mass at 7.30 pm presided by Msgr Francis Lau to celebrate God’s gift of the family, the Cradle of Faith and Love. This is in collaboration with the Archdiocesan Commission for the Family (ACF) and other organisations associated with the family, and has the theme of Communion and Fulfilment. The Good Shepherd leads us to pasture where we find life and are able to be life-giving. Starting from the person, marriages, the domestic church and Christian communities, we offer pasture to others.

During the whole celebration, all are invited to the cathedral’s Fr J M Beurel Centre (at the annex) where there will be a gallery of art pieces on display, including the talents of 12-year-old Ashley Tan, and others. All proceeds go to the archdiocesan GIFT campaign fund. Please do bring your families to this celebration.

Sat, Feb 25:
Archbishop Goh will hold a Special Mass for Aged & Sick from 11 am-12.30 pm, with the anointing of the elderly and sick. This will be organised by the cathedral’s Pastoral Care Ministry and other archdiocesan organisations and homes who serve these people in need.

The theme of the day is Come all ye who are Weary, with the Good Shepherd theme of Peace and Consolation. The Good Shepherd “embraces and consoles” us in our needs, and we are also called to embrace the mystery of the crosses of our lives, and through them grow in holiness, as willed by God our Father.

Sunday, Feb 26:
Archbishop Goh will preside over the Dedication Closing Mass at 5.30 pm, followed by a candlelight procession of the Blessed Sacrament. This special Mass is to bring together the 12 days of celebration and to reaffirm and cherish our history, renew our commitment to build a vibrant Church in our archdiocese, and walk into the future in the new light of Christ, our Good Shepherd.

Submitted by THE CATHEDRAL OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

No parking at the cathedral on Feb 14 (Dedication Mass) and Feb 26 (Closing Mass). On all other days, parking will depend on availability only. For more information, visit www.cathedral.catholic.sg


Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter