19 A New House of Worship dedicated to the Divine Mercy at Bhayander

posted Feb 6, 2019, 6:45 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 6, 2019, 6:45 AM ]
"The 2nd of February, 2019 will be etched in the history of this community forever. A 100…200 years down the line in the future, people will gather in this house of worship to celebrate this very significant event in the faith life of this community, when this church was consecrated to God." These were the opening words pronounced by His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, during his homily, as he dedicated the beautiful new church building to the Divine Mercy and to the people of Bhayander.

In a very beautiful ceremony and liturgical celebration that lasted well over two and a half hours, His Eminence led the congregation through the elaborate ritual of dedication and blessing. The ceremony began with the unveiling of the commemorative plaque at the church entrance. His Eminence then led the congregation in prayer, before cutting the ribbon and throwing open the main doors of the new church. The church was packed to capacity to witness this historic event. LED screens and audio systems had been placed at different locations to help those who could not find place inside the church, to participate in this ceremony. Many priests and religious were also present to share in the joy of the people of this parish.

The dedication of a new church is not an event that one gets to witness often in one's life, and especially in the life of a parish community. During his homily, Cardinal Gracias explained the spiritual significance of the various parts of the dedication rite. He blessed the water at the Baptismal Font and then sprinkled the Holy Water on the church walls and on the congregation gathered. The Altar and the walls of the church were anointed with Holy Oils. After this, the Altar, the Sanctuary and the entire church was incensed. The Paschal Candle was then lit, and the flame used to light the candles on the altar. Post-Communion, the Tabernacle was incensed and blessed, before the ciborium with the Holy Eucharist was placed in it. The keys were handed over to Fr Malcolm D'Souza, the Parish Priest.

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