Season of Advent, RCIA, Exorcism and the danger of fears

My sons came along with me to church this morning. We took along the camera, hoping that our priest will wear pink today. But nope, he wears purple. I would love to see Catholic priests wearing pink robe so do send me the link to any such photos, ok?

Well, in case you do not know, the colour of the robes that the Catholic priests wear, i.e. including the Pope and all the Bishops etc from Vatican go by the seasons. Catholics have three different years, i.e. Year 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C and we follow a set of Bible readings according to each year. This is a standard throughout the world. We are now in Year 3 and today is the first Sunday of [tag]Advent[/tag]. The colours are something like red, green, purple and gold. Red/Gold is for celebrations, green the ordinary weeks and purple for funerals and another type of purple/pink for the four weeks before [tag]Christmas[/tag].

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When we reached the church, we went, oh, oh, sei lar…today got [tag]RCIA[/tag] rites which means looooong mass. But in the end, I am glad I was there this morning. It moved me to tears abit ‘cos I was like these catechumens four years ago. I was pregnant then. My toddler is going to be four years old next year. The people surrounding the priest, kneeling down at the altar are people who are searching for the Way, the Truth and the Life. They are journeying on their way to become [tag]Catholic[/tag] [tag]Christians[/tag]. This is probably the first of the few rites they have to go through before they can become Catholics to be baptised on Easter Vigil. See? It is not easy to be Catholics. So, don’t get misled with any SMS again. We are not recruiting MLM-ers.
So, the first rite was to ask them why they are here (in the church) and they have to answer something like they want to find out about Catholicsm. Then, it was followed by exorcism. Well, there is nothing dramatic but merely a profession that they are denouncing things they worship (like money?). After that, they are given the ‘eye, mind, ear opening ceremony and a mark on their shoulder’. It means that they will hear and see and think as Christians. Their godparents have to mark on their shoulders to represent the gentle yoke they have to carry as a Christian. OK, maybe my explanation maybe wrong but it is something in that effect.

It is in all a very poignant process to me because it rewinds back all the things I had gone through. We, the rest of the people sitting, looking bored, cannot wait for the whole thing to finish fast-fast so that we can get back to life like having lunch, movie etc etc ……were then reminded of our responsibilities to help these new catechumens. I think this is something many of the Catholics, especially cradle Catholics ought to keep in their hearts. It is not easy for us, the converts to strive into a church to seek God. Let’s rejoice the fact that these people have come to know Christ and have some thoughts that they were here for a reason. Usually, they have gone through some hardships. Admittedly, I don’t get the kind of welcome that I expected except from the same few people.

But what I was most glad was to hear Father F.A.’s homily. He touched on the danger of fears. He said that we have been cowed by too many things and we no longer dare to show our real selves. I was like jumped out of my seat. Me! Me! Me! Father F.A. I like to show my real self but usually, I get condemned. It happens to me all the time. And the worst condemnation comes from fellow Christian. They do not want to see the Lord’s works through me but pick on every little things to put me down. What do I do about that? Heh, I really enjoyed the homily because it is liberating. I realised that if we are in Christ, we have to assert that more often. Not in a preachy way but I know that we mustn’t let our Lord be put into hiding. He said that we do not hide a lamp. We are the lamps.

16“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.” (Luke 8:16-18)

Shine, [tag]Jesus[/tag], Shine! Rejoice!

8 Replies to “Season of Advent, RCIA, Exorcism and the danger of fears”

  1. Hahaha, lobak now turned blueapple! Nice name. Never mind, penitential rites coming to a church near you! Eek, I sked most of going to confession ‘cos I usually dunno what’s there to confess. Shhh…

  2. Doesnt the priest wear pink in the third wk of Advent or something? Yeah I think it’s the third wk…just like the advent candles…the third one is pink.

  3. Pink or Rose to be exact (pink make it sounds so….you know what I mean Celestine 😛 ) is worn on the 3rd Sunday of Advent as stated above, or Gaudate Sunday.

    Gaudate means to rejoice, to be joyful, As we progressed into the Sundays of Advent, we are called to mind that Advent is above all a time of joyful anticipation; a period of active and prayerful waiting for the coming of the Messiah. The word “Advent” means “coming.” It has a threefold meaning for Christians today: the coming of the Lord in human form at Christmas, the coming of the Lord in Word and Spirit, and the coming of the Lord in glory at the end of the age. It is, therefore, a time when the church looks back at the historical event of Christ’s nativity, looks around at the revelation of Christ in scripture and experience, and looks ahead to Christ’s return at the end of time. It is still thought of as a time of personal introspection and preparation. During Advent, emphasis is placed on the reading of Old Testament prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. The first two Sunday’s are in anticipation of Christ’s Second Coming and the church encourage us to be penitent and to repent (the the Penitential colour of Purple) in anticipation of that Second coming, while from the 3rd Sunday onwards, we enter into the Christmas season and we then focus our attention to the Memory of his First Coming, the First Christmas, where God, humbled Himself and became Man like us except sinless and that’s why from the traditional purple or violet vestments of penance we change into Pink or Rose to be exact (Pink makes it sounds rather twisted) to signify Joy, while reverting back to Purple on the Fourth Sunday so as we may be humbled and be penitent on the upcoming rememberance that Christ came to earth to die for our Sins.

    The Origin of this Custom of wearing Rose Coloured Vestment to signify Joy and Rejoicing during Penitential Season’s of Advent and Lent stems from the tradition of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, or Laetare Sunday, where in the midst of our Penitence and Sorrow of the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion and Death, Lent also is a period that lead’s to Christ Triumphal Ressurection and Victory over sin, and therefore, as in Advent we wear Rose on Gaudate Sunday to rejoice in anticipation of Christ’s birth, therefore, in Laetare Sunday, we rejoice in Anticpation of Christ Ressurection, therefore, the colour purple was deemed penitential and other colours are assigned to the different liturgical days while Gold or White is far to glaring during the middle of the Penitential season, so another colour was chosen.

    Rose was picked because, it was on Laetara Sunday, that Pope’s traditionally blesses the Golden Rose that is confered on churches, cities, sovereigns, and other distinguished persons as wells as Icon’s or Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a sign of the Pope’s Highest Respect, as what Pope Benedict XVI did when he went to Poland to the Shrine of the Black Madonna, Jasna Gora (Bright Mountain) in Czestochowa.

  4. Well written. I was baptised at the OMPH church in Ipoh (plus confirmation) after attending RCIA in 1999. Somehow I share your feelings. My then-girlfriend (now wife) came from a devout Catholic family and she was a strong influence in guiding me to accepting the Lord and attending RCIA.

    What brought you to attend RCIA in the first place anyway (if you don’t mind sharing).

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