Dedication of the State of the Vatican City to St. Joseph and St. Michael the Archangel

As all of you have heard, the Vatican City state had been dedicated by Pope Francis to both St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus Christ our Lord; as well as St. Michael the Archangel, the leader of all of heaven’s angelic forces, the mighty champion of our Lord, and the terror of demons.

Image

The above statue is a statue of St. Michael the Archangel subduing Satan, the evil one. The statue was unveiled and blessed by Pope Francis in a ceremony at the Vatican Gardens where the statue is located.

Image

The ceremony was attended by both Pope Francis and his predecessor as the Vicar of Christ, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Image

Let us pray for both our Pope and our Pope Emeritus, that God will continue to guide them in leading the Church, in the spirit of prayer. St. Joseph and St. MIchael the Archangel, pray for us! Pray for the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, and protect our leader, the Successor of Peter, whose residence now entrusted to both of you for protection.

God bless the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church!

Sunday, 12 May 2013 : 7th Sunday of Easter (Scripture Reflection)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear of the glory of God, who is to come, the glory of God who had been risen in glory from the dead and therefore triumphed over death and evil, and broke their hold over all of us for eternity. This God who had been taken up in glory to heaven, in the glorious Ascension, and seated at the right hand of God the Father. This was seen by the first martyr, Stephen the deacon, who saw and proclaim the glory of Christ, that despite knowing that such proclamation would certainly bring about his death at the hands of the chief priests.

God’s promise will become a reality, that He will soon once again come down onto this world, this time not as the humble king born in a manger, which we celebrate now as Christmas, but this time He will descend as a great and almighty king in glory, as the ruler of all creation and the Master of all the Universe. He will come as the great judge who will judge all for their own worth, whether they are worthy or unworthy of heaven that is the reward for those who are faithful, and for those who keep God in their hearts.

Those who knows Christ will know the Father, because Christ was sent by the Father into this world in His first coming to be our Messiah, our Saviour from death and the slavery of sin. If we hold fast onto this faith, Christ too will know us, and make all of us His own, and when the time comes for all of us to be judged, we will be welcomed into His Kingdom, and we will receive our rewards of eternal life.

Christ desires also, first and foremost, that all of those who believe in Him be one and united, as one Body, and therefore one Spirit, in the Church that He established through the Apostles. This is because Christ knows human weaknesses and the extent of human susceptibility to the devil’s influences. The evil one will stop at nothing to prevent his ultimate fate that is total defeat and damnation, but his fate has already been decided. Nevertheless, through his numerous agents and tools in this world, he can indeed make life difficult for those of us who believe and keep the faith.

Christ knows that the Church He had established will be fractured by the agents of Satan, through human pride and arrogance, and self-serving attitudes, that resulted in the breaking of the Body of the faithful. That is why He prayed, and prayed hard to His Father in heaven, that all the faithful ones in Him, His sheep, will remain as one, as indivisible from each other, just as He and the Father, and also the Holy Spirit are together and united in an immeasurably strong bond and unity.

His wish, that they all may be one, that all of us may be one, as one Church, one people, with one Creed, and one belief, had been dashed by the evils of human ambitions and weaknesses throughout the past centuries. Many had succumbed to the temptations of the world and false teachings, through numerous false prophets, aimed by Satan to confuse the Church and the faithful, and broke the unity within the Body of Christ, that is the Church.

False prophets like Arius, Jan Hus, Martin Luther, and many others who even claimed themselves Messiah or the second coming of Christ, had spread seeds of disunity among the faithful, and also spread false teachings that ended up confusing the faithful and snared many into damnation because of them believing in teachings in contrary to the teachings of Christ, as delivered to us through the Apostles and the early Church Fathers.

Many today in our world had claimed that faith must be a personal one, that is to be a personal ‘encounter’ with Christ. But they had forgotten that faith in Christ is impossible to be described in personal terms, or separated from the whole community of the faithful, that is the Church. Humans are inherently weak because of our imperfections, and because of our own sinful nature, since our first rebellion through our ancestors who disobeyed the Lord’s command not to eat the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Since then, many think too high of themselves, thinking that they are capable of great wisdom and possessing great knowledge, and therefore are capable of interpreting the Scripture on their own, and as they like it. This is why, although reading the Scripture is important for the development of the faith, we have to anchor ourselves in the authority and the teaching magisterium of the Church, as only in good guidance of the Church, that we can fully make use and understand the Scripture.

For the Scripture was written by the apostles and disciples of Christ, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and also the numerous prophets of the past times, who also received the message of the Lord, many of which are veiled messages that are part of the mystery of our faith. Even someone who is very knowledgeable and experienced in the Scripture, will certainly not be able to claim to fully understand the full and true meaning of God’s words contained in the Scripture.

Many today and in the past interpreted the words of God in the Scripture as they wished, and they ended up establishing new ‘faiths’ that they call churches, which in fact exist in thousands, millions, and maybe more today. There are as many ‘churches’ as there are heads, obviously because no one can agree perfectly with one another and mankind will certainly be influenced by pride and arrogance to shut out other’s own interpretations and keep one’s own interpretations to oneself. Such is the danger of self-faith and faith that does not conform to the will of God in the Church.

Indeed, many of them sinned grievously because they had caused division in the body of the faithful, the Church, the Body of Christ, and also spreading false teachings, and many of these, especially are intertwined with relativism, that is to include secular developments into the faith, which are in fact incompatible, and therefore, the faith, the true faith that we know of, no longer exists in those who had gone astray.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, strengthen your faith and resolve! Do not give up to the temptations of Satan and this world. Read the Scripture and learn the faith through the teachings of the Church, and deafen yourselves to the false allures of the false prophets and agents of the evil one. Be steadfast and be faithful, and the Lord will reward all of you.

Help one another in the faith, and pass the teachings of the Lord in the Church to those, especially those who had gone astray in their path, and those who has had wrong impression and ideas about the true faith in God. Who says that Christians can only evangelise to non-Christians and non-believers? Look into ourselves, and you can see so much division within the Body of Christ that is the Church, that we need to do some internal housecleaning first.

Just as Christ said, that if we are united then the world will believe in the Lord, if we are divided against ourselves, by attacking one another’s faith, how is the Church going to stand and bring then the fight to the devil? Let us strive to fulfill Christ’s wish and indeed, God’s will, that the entire community of the believers in Christ, would be reunited, into one body, one faith, and one belief in Christ our Lord, within His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, our Roman Catholic Church, the one and only true Church that Christ had established in this world, on Peter His Apostle, on whom He entrusted the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.

May God strengthen the unity between Christians and allow all those who believe in Him to be reunited once again within one Church, and one faith, under the authority and jurisdiction of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter the Apostle, keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and Vicar of Christ in this world. God bless all of us, Amen.

One, Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church : Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus

Image

One (Indivisible by men and worldly ambitions)
Holy (Sanctity and Divine, belonging to Christ and is His alone)
Roman (Church built on St. Peter the Apostle by Christ)
Catholic (Universal, no Church but in the true Church of God, the One Body of Christ)
Apostolic (Missionary Church, spreading the Word of God to all mankind)

Church (The One Body of Christ, the united body of all the believers in Christ)

That is our Church, the Church Christ had entrusted and established on Peter, His Apostle, to whom He entrusted His flock and the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Image

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, salvation only in the Church, and there is no salvation beyond that.

Ut Omnes Unum Sint, ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam
(That they all may be One, for the greater glory of God)
+Peter Canisius Michael David C. Kang
Taipei, Taiwan
Saturday, 11 May 2013

(Special) Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff / Missa pro Eligendo Pontifice (Second Reading)

Ephesians 4 : 11-16

As for God’s gifts, to some He gave to be apostles, to others prophets, or even evangelists, or pastors and teachers. So He prepared those who belong to Him for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus, we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity and sharing the fullness of Christ.

Then no longer shall we be like children tossed about by any wave or wind of doctrine, and deceived by the cunning of people who drag them along into error. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we shall grow in every way towards Him who is the Head, Christ. From Him, comes the growth of the whole body to which a network of joints gives order and cohesion, taking into account and making use of the function of each one.

So the Body builds itself in love.

What is our faith really about? And how to answer questions that directly address our faith (From a comment)

You see how much lies evil had planted in the heart of many in this world to lead them away from the truth in God (From my blog’s comment and my reply). Do not reject them, and do not turn them away.

Especially if they ask you about your faith in God, through the Church, stand up tall, and shielded with our faith and knowledge of that faith that we have gained through the teachings of the Church, answer confidently, in courage, in love, and of course, offer a welcoming hand for them, and teach them the truth, that they too may join us in salvation in Christ.

Let us work together to accomplish the unity of all Christians in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church! Ut Omnes Unum Sint, ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam! That they all may be One, for the greater glory of God!

The comment :

What of the pope Petrus Romanus as described by St. Malachy in 1139 to be the next and final pope? St. Malachy’s final words regarding his full listing of all future popes (which has proven to be correct to the last detail) – “Rome, the seat of the Vatican, will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.”

Please pray to our Lord and Savior, our only Redeemer and mediator with God, Jesus Christ our one true King!
Ephesians 2:8-9; 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
8 For by [a]grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God,
9 [b]Not of works, lest any man should boast himself.

It is not through a church, catholic, evangelical, or other that we find our way. It is only with a relationship with Jesus, our Lord and Savior. It is not through saying rote prayers or seeking after a “favor” or “abolition” from any mere human (past or present).

It is only with our Lord Jesus. His mother Mary was highly “favored” which never meant she was to be placed higher than our Lord. Period. Seek after and follow Him and know others by the fruits of their hearts not the fruits of this world (fame or fortunes) as they are always meant to decieve.

Thank you for reading and seeking Him!

My reply :

I have no need to comment on that prophecy, which may after all be false and forgery. Even if that prophecy is true, it only showed that the Church led by the successor of blessed St. Peter the Apostle, remained faithful to the last, with that last Bishop of Rome as shepherd to feed the lambs of our Lord, through time of persecution of the Church, and even likely to suffer death at the hands of Satan and those who hated the Church and wished for its destruction, as it is the last bastion of Christ and His light in this world.

For grace and salvation is indeed through faith, but faith alone does not save one, and neither does work alone. For what you mentioned here of boasting is, work done without faith, but work done in faith serve only to affirm that faith in the Lord, and faith without works is dead. Faith needs to be alive, and nothing better to make it alive and manifest through our actions, in simple acts that we do in our daily lives, through our love for our neighbours and fellow men.

For believing solely in faith, to be frank, how do you even define faith? Faith is not mere words, and not mere ‘personal’ relationship, but it is as communal as it is personal. Nobody can have faith if they never show it through their good works following what Christ had taught us. It is a danger to believe that we are saved simply by faith, and then we can do as we like. Faith is through our love and works for our brethren, the poor, the weak, and the less fortunate, that through this living faith, we are justified by the Lord. Not enough by mere personal relations and personal dedications to God, for if that is the case, then the faith of the Pharisees would have been sufficient.

No! Christ mentioned that we are saved by faith, because this faith is not just once, and not just once and for all, and not through a single moment, but this faith is manifest throughout our entire life, and reflected through our prayers, our actions, and our concrete works for the good of others, and for the sake of God. The Church is the community through which we can make our faith manifest in this world even more.

Mary, the mother of our Lord, is never placed higher than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. That is a severe misunderstanding of the true faith of our Church, and that is what people outside the Church had been led to believe by the evil one, so that they will too take part in destroying the very one and only Church that God had established.

Mary, as the mother of our Lord, in the faith of the Church, is the mother who brought Christ into this world, and through her perfect obedience of God’s will, by her answers to the Archangel Gabriel, the salvation of this world through Christ is possible. Her faith and love is proven throughout Christ’s life on earth, even to accompany Him on the foot of the Cross.

For Mary is our closest and most direct intercessor to our God, for who else is closer to Christ in this world than His own mother? Remember the wedding at Cana, when Christ apparently refused to perform the necessary miracle because ‘it was not yet His time’, but when Mary interceded for their sake, the Lord did listen and performed the miracle of water, turning into wine.

Therefore, we venerate Mary, not as a goddess, not as equal of God, but as a being so great, and so noble, and as the first and greatest of all the saints in heaven, all of whom pray for us ceaselessly before the Lord, and no one else in ever closer to God than Mary, His mother.

If only we humble ourselves and ask God, through Mary, His mother, in great humility and repentance, our prayers will surely be heard. It is of course up to God’s will, whether He will fulfill our wishes, but that is how great indeed that God works in His own mysterious ways.

Rosary, and all that dedication to Mary? Simply our way of adoring her, who is the greatest saint and the one who made all salvation possible through her acceptance of her mission, that is to bear Christ the Saviour in her, and taking care of our Lord all the way to Calvary.

She is the pillar of support of the Lord’s mission in salvation, and it is in this spirit that we dedicate our prayers through Mary, honouring her, and in honouring Mary, we honour her Son, our God.

Do not listen to the lies of Satan and the world, and learn the truth of God’s love through the Church. The Church is not perfect, and it is led by humble and sinful men, like all of us, but through the Church, and through the authority God has granted it via the Apostles, especially through Peter, God has made His power, His redemption, and His presence manifest in this world.

Our faith is communal as it is personal. It is not enough to just have a personal relationship in Christ, but we must also have a ‘communal relationship’, that is through the Church, that is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

God bless you, dear brother, and may God guide you to the truth, and be joined as one, that I, and all my brothers and sisters in Christ and in faith, can soon call you our brethren.

Thursday, 7 March 2013 : 3rd Week of Lent, Memorial of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs (Scripture Reflection)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today let us stand with God and declare our faith and love in Him, that we would not be like the stiff-necked people in Israel in the past, and those who spurned God’s love and even accused Him of doing evil in His divine ministry in this world. For they were blind, blinded by their human weaknesses, blinded by sin and evil that they have committed.

For they have no true love for the Lord in their hearts. They love not the Lord but the praise of men and worldly honour. For these people failed to see the works of the Holy Spirit in Jesus, in healing the disabled, and casting out demons from the possessed. They instead submitted to their human jealousy and hatred of the good deeds of the Lord. There were also those, as mentioned in the Gospel today, put the Lord to the test, to see if He is really sent by God, to test His powers by sending a sign for them to see.

In fact, the act that Jesus did in casting out demons from the possessed had been the very sign that they have sought, in order for them to believe in Him. But they still failed to see, for their eyes were veiled with a thick layer of worldly sin and filth, that prevented them from seeing the works of God that is good. Jealousy is another thing, that it was indeed possible that in the hearts of some of the people gathered there, there brewed jealousy for the powers that God had, in Christ. It was the same case in the Acts of the Apostles, where Simon the sorceror attempted to bribe the Apostles to have the same authority and power given to them. But the authority of God is not purchaseable, and God gives it only to those whom He deems worthy.

Indeed, brothers and sisters, today God wants to show us that we have to believe in God, and not to be distracted by the evil one, that we begin to accuse God’s works as evil, out of our blindness to see the truth, which eventually will cause divisions between us, and in the end, as Christ had said, we will not be able to stand united, and shall fall down.

Truly, we are One, One in Christ, one as a member of the One Body of Christ, that is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, that is our Catholic Church. We must all always remember the warning that Christ had given us today, that no house divided against itself will be able to stand and survive. The devil will not survive if he is divided against his servants and his collaborators, and therefore, so does our Church.

Throughout the millenia since the birth of the Church, there had been many dissents and divisions that led to the painful separation and destruction of unity in the Church of Christ, in parallel to the civil war of the nation as mentioned by Christ. We managed to stay together as the Catholic Church, and even managed to welcome some of our separated brethren back into unity with the One and only Church of our Lord. But even within our Church today, there are divisions, that will threaten to destroy the unity and harmony between all the faithful ones in God.

There are those who are blinded to the reason for unity, and chose to separate themselves from the Universal Church to pursue their own goals and ideas, rejecting all other ideas and anything that our Church had come through in the past 50 years since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. On the other hand, there are many who had succumbed to the world, and buoyed by the evils of the world, begin to demand for worldly changes and innovations to enter the Church.

We must learn to be courageous and say no to all these things that brought disunity and discord into the holy Church of God. We must stand firm despite all the pulls that the world and evil that tried to break up the unity of the Church. How are we to bring back our separated brethren in Christ, those who had been lost in their long journeys in the faith, into the One Church of God, if we ourselves are divided in a civil war against ourselves?

Therefore. brothers and sisters, once again let us pray for unity, both among ourselves, the faithful in Christ already united in His Church, and ourselves and our separated brethren in the myriads of ‘churches’ throughout the world, with our brethren in the Eastern Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox Churches, and that very soon, Christ’s prayer and wish that all of us may be one (That they all may be One) just as He and the Father is one and indivisible, will be fulfilled, and all faithful in God, will be One.

Today, we also commemorate the memorial of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, who were martyrs in the early days of the Church. Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity were a noble mother and her slave respectively, who were martyred in the height days of the Roman Empire, due to their steadfastness to stand by their faith and their God, and refused all forms of persuasion for them to leave their faith and convert back into paganism. Their faith in God and solid stand had earned them martyrdom and thus eternal life and place in heaven with God who loves them and all of us.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us not be divided among ourselves and instead strive for unity, beginning from those near to us, and gradually let us work for unity of all, reach out to our brother Christians who is not yet in full communion with the Holy Church of God. Pray that all will soon return and be united in Christ in the Church He had established on Peter, the Rock.

Pray for us, Saints Perpetua and Felicity, that we also can follow in your footsteps and imitate the strong and unshakeable faith both of you had in the Lord, even to giving up your life for God’s sake, out of love for Him and His children, all of us. Amen.

(Live from Rome) Prayer for the Universal Church : Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 5 pm CET / Rome Time

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, members of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church throughout the world. Let us all join together with the prayers for the Church that will be held today in Rome at 5 pm, and wherever we are in the world, let us spend the time for prayer for the Church, for the Cardinal-electors, and for the election of our new Pope.

602760_624609867556405_1994490267_n

The event will be live from Rome at Vatican Player, at either http://www.vatican.va/video/ or http://player.rv.va/?language=en&visual=VaticanTic. Do join in the prayers, and if you are unable to do so, and still in the workplace or busy with other commitments, just pray in your hearts, for the sake of our Holy Church.

 

Timing :

1. Rome : Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 5 pm (UTC+1)

2. UTC : Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 4 pm

3. EST : Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 11 am (UTC-5)

4. PST : Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 8 am (UTC-8)

5. WIB : Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 11 pm (UTC+7) (West Indonesian Time, Bangkok, etc.)

6. Singapore : Thursday, 7 March 2013 at 0.00 am (UTC+8) (Singapore, Malaysia, HK, Macau, China, etc.)

 

The Cardinals, led by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, will pray together at St. Peter’s Basilica, and also participate in Eucharistic Adoration, led by the Cardinal Dean of the College. Let us pray for them, and pray that the Conclave will begin soon, and a new Pope, and a good Pope can be soon elected.

Why did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI relinquished the Papacy? (My personal opinion)

In my personal opinion, why our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, had decided to step down from his position and relinquish the Papacy, is because of three main factors and events that potentially play major roles in shaping his decision. All of these factors are tied to the first factor, that is his health.

 

Here are the three factors and events that in my opinion made our Pope Emeritus did what he had done :

 

1. Health : The Pope’s failing health due to his old age is likely the main reason why he had decided to relinquish the Papacy. Although indeed, he is now at 85 being much more vigorous as compared to Blessed Pope John Paul II’s last years, but as the Pope has great tasks to be done, for the sake of the Lord, and His people, Pope Benedict chose humility and step aside for someone else to take over the good works he had started.

He realised that his increasing difficulty in walking, most likely due to osteoarthritis and the problems with his vision will eventually impair him and preventing him from exercising his ministry as the Bishop of Rome. It has also been reported that Pope Benedict too suffers from Parkinson’s, although likely a mild one or one that is still at an early stage. This disease is well known for the one that debilitated Blessed Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict, being very close to the previous Pope, would really want to avoid another of many years of debilitation, where the Pope instead of leading directly the Church, had to delegate most of his works due to his disabilities. It is a matter of choice of course. Blessed John Paul II chose to persevere to show us how suffering for the sake of the Lord is like, and our beloved Benedict XVI stepped down to show us what humility and virtue is like.

 

2. WYD (World Youth Day) 2013 : The World Youth Day has been scheduled to occur in July 2013. It would have been in 2014, but because it will be held in Brazil, which will host the World Cup event in 2014, it was decided to hold the World Youth Day a year earlier. As the Pope’s health has made doctors to advise him strongly against transatlantic and difficult journeys, which would have limited him from visiting any countries outside of Europe, or even Italy in the coming years.

In 2012, his visits had been limited to Mexico, Cuba, and Lebanon, with only two major visits as opposed to the usual four or five visits per year, a clear sign that the Pope’s health is increasingly frail to travel far beyond Rome. As the World Youth Day 2013 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it is also possible that our beloved Benedict XVI chose to step aside that a more capable and vigorous new Pope can go instead to the event, that the new Pope can fully lead the event without the disabilities that increasingly had debilitated our beloved Benedict XVI.

 

3. Asia, the Church in Asia : Although Pope Benedict XVI had been known as someone who is particularly very attentive to the problems that the Church is facing in Europe and the West in general, which resulted in his numerous visits to the countries mostly in Europe, but he has also made several visits to countries in Latin America and Africa. Many would have criticised him for leaving out Asia, as although Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel had been visited rather often in his short pontificate, but he had yet to visit South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia, where the Church, just as in Africa, had been growing very, very rapidly.

The Pope in fact, loved the Church in Asia, particularly the Church in China, which he had tirelessly worked at, in order that the believers in Christ there can be fully reintegrated into the One Body of the Universal Church, free from any form of external and governmental interventions.

Azerbaijan in Central Asia, was the last country in Central Asia visited by a Pope in 2002. But to truly look into Asia, we should go deeper into South Asia, that is India, and further east. The last time a Pope visited India and South Asia was in 1999 or 14 years ago, and the last time a Pope visited Southeast Asia was in 1995 (World Youth Day 1995, Manila, Philippines) or 18 years ago; and for East Asia, the last Papal visit was to Korea in 1989 or 24 years ago.

Several countries in Asia such as Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, and some other Asian countries had also been graced with Papal visits only once or twice in the entire history of the Church, also owing to the recent expansion of the Church to Asia and that only beginning with Pope Paul VI, that the Pope began to travel again outside Rome and Italy after quite some time. Therefore, due to Pope Benedict XVI’s love for the Church, both in the elder Europe and the younger Church in Asia, and already that his debilitation had made him difficult to make transatlantic visits, including the upcoming World Youth Day in Brazil, but a travel plan to Asia would have made it much more difficult.

A younger and healthier Pope therefore will be able to visit Asia (South, Southeast, East Asia) perhaps as early as this year or next year, 2014. This is however not to say that an Asian Pope will be elected, just yet. The time has not come yet in this election for an Asian Pope. Only in the next election, which hopefully will be held in about a decade from now or more, that the first Asian Pope may be possibly elected.

 

In the end, it is Pope Benedict XVI’s love for God, and God’s people in the Church that made him to decide to step aside for the good of the Church and the good of God’s mission in this world. However, this is not at all interpreted that it will be permanently so or that such a stepping down will be customary for the Popes. The Papacy is not an office, and not an institution, which for example like the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Anglicans, which is rotated after every number of years in manner akin to the secular and the worldly prime ministers and presidents. No, the Bishop of Rome’s position, as Christ’s only Vicar on this world is far beyond that. Only the Pope himself can decide when and if he will resign at all, and only in extreme cases should this be done.

Let us all pray therefore for our beloved Pope Emeritus, His Holiness Benedict XVI, that God will continue to look after him in his retirement, that through his new life dedicated in prayer, he can lead the Church with the new Pope, his successor, whom we also pray for, to fight against the evils of this world. We also pray for those who attack the Pope, the institution of our Church, and those who attack the faithful in Christ, that first we forgive them, and ask the Lord to enlighten their hearts, that they will learn the truth about His Church and its teachings, that they too will believe and be saved through the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

May God bless all of us, bless His One and Universal Church, and bless the whole world. Amen!

Friday, 1 March 2013 : 2nd Week of Lent (Scripture Reflection)

We are urged today, not to have evil thoughts on our brothers and sisters today, as illustrated earlier in the story of Joseph in the first reading and the psalm, and how he was sold off in slavery to Egypt due to his brothers’ jealousy, which caused them to initially harbour evil thought of killing him. The same evil intent and plot also happened in the Gospel when the tenants disposed of the servants and the son of the landowner, in the intention of gaining the lands they have been lent with, and disobeying the owner’s wish.

We should not harbour such evil intent, but instead look upon our brothers and sisters with love. Especially, just as Christ has taught us, we should even also look upon our enemies and our persecutors with love! and pray for them too!

And then indeed, the story of the Gospel today, as many of you would know, is a parable on the life of Christ Himself, with the Pharisees and the chief priests being labeled as the evil tenants, as obviously stated in the Scripture. Jesus is the Son of the owner, who is God the Father, who sent Jesus to us, down to earth, just like the owner sent his son in the hope that he will be able to bring the tenants into line and pay up what they are supposed to pay.

But yet, the rejected ones, as we had seen, in both Jesus and Joseph, had become a great instrument of the Lord through their rejection by the people, represented by the brothers of Joseph and the tenants in the Gospel. For Joseph became the regent of Egypt through the gift of prophecy through dreams granted to him by God, which saved thousands if not many more souls from death, by the wise and ample preparation before famine ravaged Egypt for seven years. All these would not have happened without Joseph and his dreams.

Even greater is therefore the role of Christ, for in being rejected by the people, the ‘tenants’ particularly the chief priests, teachers of the Law, and the Pharisees, He has become the very instrument of salvation of all mankind. This rejection was represented by the arrest of Jesus, His trial by the Sanhedrin, leaders of the priests of Israel, and finally His condemnation to death, and His death on the cross. In this He, as the rejected stone by the builder, had become the cornerstone, the very vital part of God’s plan of salvation.

What is a cornerstone? While we do not often use the terms in daily life, architects and those dealing with infrastructure and buildings will know it very well. For cornerstone is named so, since, at the time of the Roman Empire, there is a passion for building commemorative and triumphal arches. Some of these arches can still be seen even today, and some remained in the city of Rome itself. Why are these arches so strong and so solid to be able to stand for centuries and even millenia? It is because of its structure, which is so wonderfully constructed even without modern technology to keep them intact, all just because of one single stone at the peak of the arch, which is called the cornerstone.

This cornerstone is the focal point and the most important point of the arch. For if the cornerstone is removed, the arch will immediately crumble. As long as the cornerstone remained in place, removing other stones from the arch would have minimum impact on the arch’s integrity. Similarly, cornerstone can also be found in other buildings, also known more as the foundation stone. This stone holds up the integrity of the whole building by just being there, and as long as the stone stands, the building will too.

Christ therefore, has become our cornerstone through His death and sacrifice on the cross, and later His glorious resurrection and triumph over death and evil. Why is He our cornerstone? That is because if we keep our anchor on Him, keeping faith in Him, and ensuring that our faith is anchored deeply and securely in Christ, no amount of worldly temptations, and no amount of attacks and persuasions by evil can sway us and make us to fall away from the grace of God.

Through Christ who is our cornerstone, we then can act out His love and compassion on all mankind, for only if we anchor ourselves in Christ, that we can act with love and kindness, out of our faith in God who also loves us dearly that He did not even hold back His Son to be given to us for sacrifice to liberate us from eternal damnation.

Then Christ too established His Church, our Church, as the living and concrete presence that represents Him and His mission in this world, and there was none other than Peter the Apostle, upon whom, as the Rock, Christ chose to build up His Church, making Peter the cornerstone of His Church, the Body of Christ, which is made up of all of us the faithful in Christ.

Now, that our Pope, Benedict XVI, who was the 264th successor of St. Peter, had stepped down from his position as our Pope effective today, our Church, God’s Church, has been left without that cornerstone of faith, which has been passed down since the day of Peter, the first cornerstone of the Universal Church. We still have Christ of course as our Cornerstone, on whom all hearts and minds must be directed to, but it is through the Apostle Peter and his successors, the Popes, that this is made manifest, by them being the cornerstone of God’s living presence in this world, that is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Therefore, today, and through the sede vacante period, and beyond that, let us pray, brothers and sisters in Christ, that first, we all will remain ever faithful, and that our anchor of faith will ever be solidly planted in the cornerstone that is Christ our Lord, always remembering His rejection and sacrifice on the cross that made Him the cornerstone of our life, the cornerstone of salvation, that enabled mankind to return and be reunited with God.

And then, we also pray in particular for our Church, that God will guide the Cardinal-electors who will elect a new Pope to succeed our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit sent by God upon all of them. That the world will again have a tangible cornerstone that is the successor of St. Peter, who made the Cornerstone of Christ manifest and real in this world, as the cornerstone of God’s most Holy Church, and as the cornerstone and head of the Body of Christ, the Church, leading all the faithful in Christ in unity with Christ their Saviour.

In the end, the cornerstone, although important, still requires the presence of all of us, the stones surrounding the cornerstone, for the cornerstone by itself will not make a building. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us support the new Pope, whoever he will be, as all the people who believe in Christ, that the new Pope, the future cornerstone of the Church, will together build up a solid and strong Church, that is able to project God’s love and work into this world, that more and more people will be saved.

May God bless all of us, bless His Church, bless our retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and his soon-to-be elected successor. Amen!

Episcopal Ordination of Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh of Singapore, Part I : The Mass and ceremony itself

What is an Episcopal Ordination? It is the event celebrated with a Mass that mark the continuation of the Apostolic ministry to a new bishop, signified most importantly by the laying of hands by other bishops and the presiding bishop (consecrator), and the imposition of the pontificalia or the vestments and items particular to bishops, which are all representative of his ministry as bishop.

I have written this in conjunction with the Episcopal Ordination of the Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Singapore, Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, which will be held in the EXPO, Singapore on Friday, 22 February 2013, on the Feast of Chair of St. Peter.

 

Some terms :

Consecrator : the main presiding bishop at the Episcopal Ordination, similar to celebrant in the celebration of the Mass. In the case of Friday’s ordination, it will be the Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli

Co-consecrators : the assistant bishops at the Episcopal Ordination, similar to concelebrant in the celebration of the Mass. In the case of Friday’s ordination, it will be the Archbishop of Singapore, Archbishop Nicholas Chia, and the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Archbishop Murphy Pakiam.

Other bishops present in the Ordination can also help out with the laying of the hands, following that of the consecrator and co-consecrator’s laying of hands.

 

The ceremony itself will begin as a usual Mass would, beginning with the entrance procession. The new bishop to be ordained usually walks in front of the presiding bishop (consecrator), and usually accompanied by two deacons (just as all bishops should, that means the presiding bishop too when available should also have two deacons to accompany him).

Then begin the Mass as usual with the incensing of the altar, the sign of the Cross, the opening address if there is any, and followed by the Penitential Act (I confess to Almighty God…) and the Kyrie (Lord have mercy). Gloria follows after that. One may ask that this is Lenten season where Gloria is not used, but the day of the ordination for this case, 22 February falls on the Feast of Chair of St. Peter where Gloria is used (as is Te Deum later in the ceremony).

 

After Gloria concludes, then it comes to the opening prayer, and then the readings come as per the usual Mass. First Reading, followed by the Psalm, and finally by the Gospel. No Alleluia for this case since it happens during Lent, and at Lent Alleluia is always omitted, so we have the Lenten Gospel Acclamation instead.

After the Gospel, the Ordination ceremony proper begins.

 

The first part begins with usually the singing of the Hymn of the Holy Spirit (Veni Creator Spiritus), with all the verses used. Then after the Hymn is completed, this is followed by the presentation of the Bishop/Archbishop-elect, that is Coadjutor Archbishop-elect William Goh in this case (He is not yet legally and validly bishop at this point).

The presiding bishop can give a homily following the presentation of the Bishop-elect, usually to explain on the ministry of the bishop and the nature of that ministry.

 

Then the promise/vow of the bishop-elect follows, where the new Bishop solemnly vows before God his promise : (In Latin and English)

1. Latin : Antiqua sanctorum Patrum institutio praecipit, ut, qui Episcopus ordinandus est, coram populo interrogetur de proposito fidei servandae et muneris exsequendi.

Vultis ergo, frater carissimus (fratres carissimi if plural), munus nobis ab Apostolis creditum et vobis per impositionem manuum nostrarum tradendum cum gratia Spiritus Sancti usque ad mortem explere?

English : The ancient rule of the holy Fathers ordains that a Bishop-elect is to be questioned in the presence of the people on his resolve to uphold the faith and to discharge his duty.

And so dear brothers, do you resolve by the grace of the Holy Spirit to discharge until death the office entrusted to us by the Apostles, which we are about to pass on to you by the laying on of our hands?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo (English : I do)

 

2. Latin : Vultis Evangelium Christi fideliter et indesinenter praedicare?

English : Do you resolve to preach the Gospel of Christ with constancy and fidelity?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo (English : I do)

 

3. Latin : Vultis depositum fidei, secundum traditionem inde ab Apostolis in Ecclesia semper et ubique servatam, purum et integrum custodire?

English : Do you resolve to guard the deposit of faith, entire and incorrupt, as handed down by the Apostles and preserved in the Church everywhere and at all times?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo (English : I do)

 

4. Latin : Vultis corpus Christi, Ecclesiam eius, aedificare et eius unitate cum Ordine Episcoporum, sub auctoritate successoris beati Petri Apostoli, permanere?

English : Do you resolve to build up the body of Christ, His Church, and to remain in the unity of that body together with the Order of Bishops under the authority of the successor of Saint Peter the Apostle?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo (English : I do)

 

5. Latin : Vultis beati Petri Apostoli successori, obaedientiam fideliter exhibere?

English : Do you resolve to render obedience faithfully to the succesor of the blessed Apostle Peter?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo (English : I do)

 

6. Latin : Vultis plebem Dei sanctam, cum comministris vestris presbyteris et diaconis, ut pii pater, fovere et in viam salutis dirigere?

English : Do you resolve to guide the holy people of God in the way of salvation as devoted father and sustain them with the help of your fellow ministers, the priests, and deacons?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo (English : I do)

 

7. Latin : Vultis pauperibus et peregrinis omnibusque indigentibus propter nomen Domini affabiles et misericordes vos praebere?

English : Do you resolve, for the sake of the Lord’s Name, to be welcoming and merciful to the poor, to strangers, and to all who are in need?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo (English : I do)

 

8. Latin : Vultis oves errantes ut boni pastores requirere et ovili dominico aggregare?

English : Do you resolve as good shepherds to seek out the sheep who stray and gather them into the Lord’s fold?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo (English : I do)

 

9. Latin : Vultis Deum omnipotentem pro populo sancto indesinenter orare et sine reprehensione summi sacerdotii munus explere?

English : Do you resolve to pray without ceasing to Almighty God for the holy people and to carry out the office of high priest without reproach?

The bishop-elect answers : Volo, Deo auxiliante (English : I do, with the help of God)

 

After this, the Litany of the Saints begins, asking the prayer from all the saints, martyrs, and all holy men of God to pray for the new bishop. The bishop-elect prostrate himself on the floor as a sign of humility before God, during the Litany of the Saints.

 

(R = reply) (Here shown both Latin and English versions)

1. Kyrie, eleison                                        R : Kyrie, eleison

Lord, have mercy                                    R : Lord, have mercy

 

2. Christe, eleison                                    R : Christe, eleison

Christ have mercy                                   R : Christ, have mercy

 

3. Kyrie, eleison                                       R : Kyrie, eleison

Lord have mercy                                     R : Lord, have mercy

 

4. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei                  R : ora pro nobis

Holy Mary, Mother of God                  R : pray for us

 

5. Sancte Michael                                    R : ora pro nobis

Saint Michael                                            R : pray for us

 

6. Sancti Angeli Dei                                 R : orate pro nobis

Holy Angels of God                                 R : pray for us

 

7. Sancte Ioannes Baptista                   R : ora pro nobis

Saint John the Baptist                             R : pray for us

 

8. Sancte Ioseph                                        R : ora pro nobis

Saint Joseph                                                R : pray for us

 

9. Sancte Petre                                            R : ora pro nobis

Saint Peter                                                    R : pray for us

 

10. Sancte Paule                                         R : ora pro nobis

Saint Paul                                                      R : pray for us

 

11. Sancte Andrea                                      R : ora pro nobis

Saint Andrew                                               R : pray for us

 

12. Sancte Iacobe                                       R : ora pro nobis

Saint James                                                   R : pray for us

 

13. Sancte Ioannes                                     R : ora pro nobis

Saint John                                                      R : pray for us

 

14. Sancte Thoma                                        R : ora pro nobis

Saint Thomas                                                 R : pray for us

 

15. Sancte Iacobe                                        R : ora pro nobis

Saint James                                                    R : pray for us

 

16. Sancte Philippe                                      R : ora pro nobis

Saint Philip                                                      R : pray for us

 

17. Sancte Bartholomae                             R : ora pro nobis

Saint Bartholomew                                       R : pray for us

 

18. Sancte Matthae                                       R : ora pro nobis

Saint Matthew                                                 R : pray for us

 

19. Sancte Simon                                            R : ora pro nobis

Saint Simon                                                       R : pray for us

 

20. Sancte Thaddae                                       R : ora pro nobis

Saint Thaddeus                                                R : pray for us

 

21. Sancte Matthia                                         R : ora pro nobis

Saint Matthew                                                  R : pray for us

 

22. Sancta Maria Magdalena                      R : ora pro nobis

Saint Mary Magdalene                                  R : pray for us

 

23. Sancte Stephane                                       R : ora pro nobis

Saint Stephen                                                    R : pray for us

 

24. Sancte Ignati Antiochene                     R : ora pro nobis

Saint Ignatius of Antioch                              R : pray for us

 

25. Sancte Laurenti                                         R : ora pro nobis

Saint Lawrence                                                  R : pray for us

 

26. Sanctae Perpetua et Felicitas               R : orate pro nobis

Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity               R : pray for us

 

27. Sancta Agnes                                              R : ora pro nobis

Saint Agnes                                                         R : pray for us

 

28. Sancte Georgi                                             R : ora pro nobis

Saint George                                                       R : pray for us

 

29. Sancte Fortunate                                      R : ora pro nobis

Saint Fortunatus                                               R : pray for us

 

30. Sancte Gregori                                           R : ora pro nobis

Saint Gregory                                                     R : pray for us

 

31. Sancte Augustine                                      R : ora pro nobis

Saint Augustine                                                R : pray for us

 

32. Sancte Athanasi                                        R : ora pro nobis

Saint Athanasius                                              R : pray for us

 

33. Sancte Basili                                               R : ora pro nobis

Saint Basil                                                            R : pray for us

 

34, Sancte Martine                                          R : ora pro nobis

Saint Martin                                                       R : pray for us

 

35. Sancte Nicolae                                          R : ora pro nobis

Saint Nicholas                                                   R : pray for us

 

36. Sancte Benedicte                                     R : ora pro nobis

Saint Benedict                                                  R : pray for us

 

37. Sancte Francisce et Dominice            R : orate pro nobis

Saint Francis and Saint Dominic               R : pray for us

 

38. Sancte Francisce Xavier                       R : ora pro nobis

Saint Francis Xavier                                      R : pray for us

 

39. Sancte Vincenti de Paul                        R : ora pro nobis

Saint Vincent de Paul                                    R : pray for us

 

40. Sancte Ioannes Maria Vianney         R : ora pro nobis

Saint John Mary Vianney                            R : pray for us

 

41. Sancta Catharina Senensis                   R : ora pro nobis

Saint Catherine of Siena                               R : pray for us

 

42. Sancta Teresia a Iesu                             R : ora pro nobis

Saint Teresa of Jesus                                     R : pray for us

 

43. Omnes Sancti et Sanctae Dei                   R : orate pro nobis

All holy men and women, Saints of God    R : pray for us

 

44. Propitius esto                                           R : libera nos, Domine

Lord, be merciful                                            R : Lord, deliver us, we pray

 

45. Ab omni malo                                           R : libera nos, Domine

From all evil                                                     R : Lord, deliver us, we pray

 

46. Ab omni peccato                                     R : libera nos, Domine

From every sin                                                R : Lord, deliver us, we pray

 

47. A morte perpetua                                    R : libera nos, Domine

From everlasting death                                R : Lord, deliver us, we pray

 

48. Per incarnationem tuam                       R : libera nos, Domine

By Your incarnation                                       R : Lord, deliver us, we pray

 

49. Per mortem et resurrectionem tuam        R :  libera nos, Domine

By Your death and resurrection                        R : Lord, deliver us, we pray

 

50. Per effusionem Spiritus Sancti             R : libera nos, Domine

By the outpouring of the Holy Spirit         R : Lord, deliver us, we pray

 

51. Peccatores                                                    R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Be merciful to us sinners                               R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

52. Ut Ecclesiam tuam sanctam regere et conservare digneris

R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Govern and protect your Holy Church

R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

53. Ut domnum apostolicum et omnes ecclesiasticos ordines in sancta religione conservare digneris

R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Keep the Pope and all the ordained in faithful service to Your Church

R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

54. Ut hos electos benedicere digneris              R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Bless these (this) chosen men (man)                   R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

55. Ut hos electos benedicere et santificare digneris

R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Bless and sanctify these (this) chosen men (man)

R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

56. Ut hos electos benedicere et sanctificare et consecrare digneris

R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Bless, sanctify, and consecrate these (this) chosen men (man)

R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

57. Ut cunctis populis pacem et veram concordiam donare digneris

R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Bring all peoples together in peace and true harmony

R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

58. Ut omnis in tribulatione versantibus misericordiam tuam largiri digneris

R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Comfort with Your mercy the troubled and the afflicted

R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

59. Ut nosmetipsos in tuo sancto servitio confortare et conservare digneris

R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Strengthen all of us and keep us in Your holy service

R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

60. Iesu, Fili Dei vivi                                            R : Te rogamus, audi nos

Jesus, Son of the living God                              R : Lord, we ask You, hear our prayer

 

61. Christe, audi nos                                            R : Christe, audi nos

Christ, hear us                                                        R : Christ, hear us

 

62. Christe, exaudi nos                                      R : Christe, exaudi nos

Christ, graciously hear us                                R : Christ, graciously hear us

 

(The Litany of the Saints is slightly different and longer than the usual one as this one is used for the Episcopal Ordination Mass proper, which contains more prayers for the bishop-elect)

 

Then the presider will pray this prayer after the Litany :

Latin : Propitiare, Domine, supplicationibus nostris, et inclinato super hos famulos tuos cornu gratiae sacerdotalis, benedictionis tuae in eos effunde virtutem. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

English : Graciously hear our petitions, o Lord, and pour out upon these, Your servants, the power of Your blessing, flowing from the horn of priestly grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The imposition or laying of hands then follow. Beginning with the consecrator and the co-consecrators, they lay their hands on the bishop-elect’s head, as a sign of the passing down of the Holy Spirit they themselves have received through the Apostolic Succession, from the Apostles, and therefore from Christ.

(During this time, the other bishops in attendance may also lay their hands on the head of the new Bishop as a symbol of the continuing power that came from the Apostles, the unbroken Apostolic Succession from the Apostles themselves, empowering the new Bishop with the same authority and power God has given to the Apostles).

 

Then this is followed by the placing of the Holy Scripture opened up above the head of the new Bishop, as a symbol that the new Bishop will stay true to the Word of God in the Scripture, and will do his best to carry out the will of God, and make the Word of God centre of his life and his mission as the Bishop, as the shepherd of God’s people.

The moment and words that made an Episcopal Ordination valid and legal (when done by the proper authority and in accordance with the Canon Law) are highlighted in bold below. The Principal consecrator then pray together with the co-consecrators and the other bishops over the new Bishop (with the Sacred Scripture above his head).

 

Latin : Deus et Pater Domini nostri Iesu Christi, Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis, qui in excelsis habeas et humilia respicis, qui cognoscis omnia antequam nascantur, tu qui dedisti in Ecclesia tua normas per verbum gratiae tuae, qui praedestinasti ex principio genus iustorum ab Abraham, qui constituisti principes et sacerdotes, et sanctuarium tuum sine ministerio non dereliquisti, cui ab initio mundi placuit in his quos eligisti glorificari :

Et nunc effunde super hos electos eam virtutem, quae a te est, Spiritum principalem, quem dedisti dilecto Filio tuo Iesu Christo, quem ipse donavit sanctis Apostolis, qui constituerunt Ecclesiam per singula loca ut sanctuarium tuum, in gloriam et laudem indeficientem nominis tui.

Da, cordium cognitor Pater, his servis tuis, quos elegisti ad Episcopatum, ut pascant gregem sanctum tuum, et suum sacerdotium tibi exhibeant sine reprehensione, servientes tibi nocte et die, ut incessanter vultum tuum propitium reddant et offerant dona sanctae Ecclesiae tuae; da ut virtute Spiritus summi sacerdotii habeant potestatem dimittendi peccata secundum mandatum tuum; ut distribuant munera secundum praeceptum tuum et solvant omne vinculum secundum potestatem quam dedisti Apostolis; placeant tibi in mansuetudine et mundo corde, offerentes tibi odorem suavitatis, per Filium tuum Iesum Christum, per quem tibi gloria et potentia et honor, cum Spiritu Sancto in sancta Ecclesia et nunc et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English : God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all consolation, who dwell on high and look on the lowly, who know all things before they come to be; and who laid down observances in Your Church through the word of Your grace; who from the beginning, foreordained a nation of the just, born of Abraham; who established rulers and priests and did not leave Your sanctuary without ministers, and who, from the foundation of the world, were pleased to be glorified in those You have chosen :

Pour out now upon these (this) chosen ones (one) that power which is from You, the Spirit of governance whom You gave to Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Spirit whom He bestowed upon the holy Apostles, who established the Church in each place as Your sanctuary for the glory and unceasing praise of Your Name.

Grant, o Father, knower of all hearts, that these (this), Your servant(s), whom You have chosen for the office of Bishop may shepherd Your holy flock, Serving You night and day, may they fulfill before You without reproach the ministry of the High Priesthood; so that, always gaining Your favour, they (he) may offer up the gifts of Your Holy Church. Grant that, by the power of the Spirit of the High Priesthood, they may have the power to forgive sins according to Your command, assign offices according to Your decree, and loose every bond according to the power given by You to the Apostles. May they please You by their meekness and purity of heart, presenting a fragrant offering in You, through Your Son, Jesus Christ, through whom glory and power and honor are Yours with the Holy Spirit in the Holy Church, now and forever. Amen.

 

After this, the consecrator bishop will anoint the hands of the new Bishop with the sacred chrism oil, signifying that the bishop is the anointed one of God, given by God the authority of the High Priesthood of Christ, which he share.

Latin : Deus, qui summi Christi sacerdotii participem te effecit, ipse te mysticae delibutionis liquore perfundat, et spiritualis benedictionis ubertate fecundet.

English : May God, who has made you a sharer in the High Priesthood of Christ, Himself pour out upon you the oil of mystical anointing and make you fruitful with an abundance of spiritual blessings.

 

Then, the new Bishop receives the Book of the Gospels (Evangelium), the Word of God, to remind him of his duty to teach and preach the word of God to his flock.

Latin : Accipe Evangelium et verbum Dei praedica in omni patientia et doctrina.

English : Receive the Gospel and preach the word of God with all patience and sound teaching.

 

Then, the new Bishop receives the Episcopal ring, the sign that he is married to God and His Holy Church, and thus the flock he is entrusted to.

Latin : Accipe anulum, fidei signaculum : et sponsam Dei, sanctam Ecclesiam, intemerata fide orantus, illibate custodi.

English : Receive this ring, the seal of fidelity : adorned with undefiled faith, preserve unblemished the bride of God, the holy Church.

 

Then, the new Bishop receives the mitre, the symbol of authority, that he now teach as the teacher of faith in the authority given to Him by Christ, and as a crown of glory and holiness given to him by Christ.

Latin : Accipe mitram, et clarescat in te splendor sanctitatis, ut cum apparuerit princeps pastorum, immarcescibilem gloriae coronam percipere merearis.

English : Receive the mitre, and may the splendour of holiness shine forth in you, so that when the Chief Shepherd appears you may deserve to receive from Him an unfading crown of glory.

 

Finally, the new Bishop receives the pastoral crosier, which is a symbol of his pastoral office as a shepherd to God’s people, the sheep entrusted to him to care, and to govern through the authority given to him by the Holy Spirit.

Latin : Accipe baculum, pastoralis muneris signum, et attende universo gregi, in quo te Spiritus Sanctus posuit Episcopum regere Ecclesiam Dei.

English : Receive the crosier, the sign of your pastoral office, and keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as Bishop to govern the Church of God.

 

After all are done, the new Bishop is presented to the people and all the faithful. An appropriate hymn, or hymn in honour of the new Bishop may be sung or played at this time. Then the Mass proceeds as normal with the Creed.

 

The Mass and the Eucharist, and then the Communion proceed as it is in a normal Mass. Then, after the concluding prayer (Prayer after Communion) is said, Te Deum is usually sung. Te Deum as the hymn that glorifies God and usually sang at events including ordinations, and show that through the ordination of this new bishop, God’s glory is made manifest in this world.

 

Te Deum

 

Te Deum laudamus, te Dominum confitemur

We praise You, o God, we acclaim You as the Lord.

 

Te aeternum Patrem, omnis terra veneratur.

Everlasting Father, all the world bows down before You.

 

Tibi omnes angeli, tibi caeli et universae potestatis;

All the angels sing Your praise, the hosts of heaven and all the angelic powers;

 

tibi cherubim et seraphim incessabili voce proclamant :

all the cherubim and seraphim call out to You in unending song :

 

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of God of the angelic hosts.

 

Pleni sunt caeli et terra, maiestatis gloriae tuae.

The heavens and the earth are filled with Your majesty and glory.

 

Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,

The glorious band of apostles,

 

te prophetarum laudabilis numerus,

the noble company of prophets,

 

te martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.

the marytrs who shed their blood for Christ, all sing Your praise.

 

Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,

And to the ends of the earth, Your Holy Church proclaims her faith in You,

 

Patrem immensae maiestatis;

Father, whose majesty is boundless;

 

venerandum  tuum verum et unicum Filium;

Your true and only Son, who is to be adored;

 

Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.

the Holy Spirit sent to be our Advocate.

 

Tu rex gloriae, Christe.

You, Christ, are the King of glory.

 

Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.

Son of the Eternal Father.

 

Tu, ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.

When You took our nature to save mankind, You did not shrink from birth in the Virgin’s womb.

 

Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.

You overcame the power of death, opening the Father’s kingdom to all who believe in You.

 

Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.

Enthroned at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.

 

Iudex crederis esse venturus.

You will come in judgement according to Your promise.

 

Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni, quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.

You redeemed Your people by Your Precious Blood. Come, we implore You, to our aid.

 

Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

Grant us with the saints, a place in eternal glory.

 

Then the Mass ends with the final blessing and dismissal. Thus ends the Episcopal Ordination Mass. The guide above is not conclusive, as there may be variations in the wording and the hymn depending on the local needs and customs.

 

Let us pray for the Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, Msgr. William Goh, that God will truly pour down on him, the Holy Spirit, that he will be a great shepherd to His people, in His Church in Singapore. Amen.