(Screenshot from La Naval de Manila's official Facebook page)

UST Parish Priest Fr. Paul Talavera, O.P. called on the faithful to rejoice during the Easter season like how the disciples first saw the resurrection of Christ, during the Easter Vigil Mass at Santisimo Rosario Parish.

“People converted and believed in Jesus who is alive. This is the message that we have to preach, especially during this time. Jesus is alive,” Talavera said in his homily.

Talavera said this year’s Holy Week celebration allowed Catholics to focus on the true message of Easter, which is Christ’s resurrection.

“Ngayon wala na ‘yong ibang celebration natin [tulad ng] Easter egg hunt, Easter bunny at kung anu-ano pa. Ngayon, we’re focused on the true message of Easter. Christ has risen,” he said.

Former UST Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. urged his fellow Dominicans and Catholics to not let the effects of sins control one’s life.

Kapag tayo ay halos nawawalang-bahala at hindi na marunong magdalamhati sa ating kasalanan, tayo’y nagkukulang sa takot sa epekto nito sa ating buhay. Ang isang tunay na Dominikano ay marunong magluksa at malungkot dahil alam niyang siya’y makasalanan,” he said.

(If we are indifferent and don’t know how to grieve for our sins, we are less afraid of the impact it will have on our lives. A true Dominican knows how to mourn and grieve because he knows he is a sinner.)

In this year’s Easter Vigil, only cathedrals and parish churches were allowed to celebrate Mass at not earlier than 5 p.m., based the guidelines issued by the Vatican amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

During the Service of Light, the faithful were urged to light a candle, which served as the Paschal candle and a “reminder of the triumph of the Paschal Mystery in any human struggle of crisis.” Catholics also renewed their baptismal promises during the vigil liturgy.

The faithful were urged to bring an image of the Blessed Mother at their doors or windows as a substitute to the traditional “Salubong” procession held before the Mass at dawn on Easter.

Easter Vigil, also known as Paschal Vigil, commemorates the resurrection of Christ and marks the end of the Holy Week Triduum and the 40-day Lenten season.


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