SINGAPORE – An estimated 24,000 people attended Our Lady’s Procession 2008 that began at 6.00pm and lasted till 8.30pm Sunday Sep 7.

The first of the crowd turned up at Novena Church from as early as 2.00pm.

The theme for this year’s procession was "Jesus Christ, Our Hope".

At the concelebrated outdoor Mass, Redemptorist Father Patrick Massang preached the homily. He said, "Jesus is our hope in the forgiveness of our sins… it is in him there’s plentiful repentance."

"All of us gathered here today are witnesses of hope that God is alive in us and we must be bringers of this hope to those who live in darkness and despair. If everything else fails in our life, Jesus Christ is our hope," he advised the worshippers.

At the end of the procession, Archbishop Nicholas Chia, the main celebrant, reminded those present to "remember your devotion to our Blessed Mother must always bring you to Jesus".

"You can be sure that when you take a step towards God and Mary, they will take two steps towards you so you’ll be drawn closer to them," he said.

The following night’s Shine Jesus Shine Rally led by Father Simon Pereira was attended by about 2,500 people, mostly youth and young adults, who sang and danced, and adored in silent reverence before the Blessed Sacrament.

On Tuesday evening, a Taize session themed "Come and dance with the Lord" was led by Father Jacob Ong.

"Taize is rooted in the monastic tradition of chanted Scripture and prayer. Most Taize songs are excerpted from the Psalms, single phrases and verses repeated in unison with times of silence in between, followed by prayers for thanks, forgiveness, healing and reconciliation," explained Adeline Wong from the Novena Church’s Taize group.

Father Jacob felt that Taize communal worship would be an ideal complement to the procession and rally, and also ideal "to wrap up the triduum with silent worship allowing the Word of God to penetrate our inmost being". - by Joyce Gan


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