BIS #7113 Long Live Christ the King!

By Ms Lydia Rodrigues and Mr Martin Fernandes for BISMumbai

On 26 November 2023, the Church celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King. This feast celebrated on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, reminds the faithful that in every time and age and over all situations, Jesus Christ reigns supreme.

At St Dominic Savio Parish, Wadala, the feast was celebrated with the theme ‘Jesus Christ, Our Servant Leader’. From 10:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., parishioners engaged in community-wise adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. At 5 p.m., following the Tamil Mass, the first benediction took place in the church compound, in the presence of about 600 people. The premises wore a festive look, thanks to the decorations put up by the youth.

Fr Gregory D’Cunha preached in Hindi, while Fr. Bastin Thomas preached in Marathi. The solemn aarti honouring the Blessed Sacrament was led by children before the procession. The procession proceeded to the Eucress housing complex, where the second benediction was held. Here, Fr Kenneth Pereira, the Parish Priest, preached the homily in English. The residents of Eucress had beautifully prepared the stage and the altar and animated the singing for this part of the programme.

The procession gave the parishioners an occasion to manifest to the general public their devotion and loyalty to Christ. Even along this route, at four different points, people came forward to perform aarti before the Blessed Sacrament that was being carried under a canopy. Despite unseasonal rain during the programme, the people went on enthusiastically, glorifying Jesus with hymns in different languages and with showers of flower petals all along the way. 

The procession ended at St Anthony’s Chapel, where Fr John Samuel preached in Tamil. After the benediction, the people went home not just with the boiled grams that were distributed but also with amazing memories of the festive celebration. 

A similar celebration of the feast was held at St John Bosco Parish, Borivli. The adoration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. was an occasion for individuals to spend quiet moments in contemplation and prayer. The Confirmation candidates led the congregation in the heartfelt recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 p.m. which was followed by the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Fr Solomon Rapol, the Parish Priest. After Mass, the solemn procession honouring Christ the King wound its way through the streets of Borivli. The Blessed Sacrament, gracefully adorned on an elaborately decorated jeep, became the focal point of the procession. 

The Feast of Christ the King was indeed a moment of spiritual grace, as it was an occasion to celebrate Jesus’ divine kingship.