Holy Week at Our Lady Of Lebanon Church in Johannesburg
Text by Mark Kisogloo, Images: Fibrestream
Covid this year could not stop the zeal of Maronite parishioners at Our Lady Of Lebanon, South of Johannesburg.
Mass was well attended For Holy Week, while relatively subdued due only to covid restrictions the parish tried to keep things as “Normal” as possible, there was a procession on Palm Sunday which was well attended, Sunday eve saw the start of the mini-mission and the rite of reaching the harbour.
This time it was only Fr Jean Yammine ( parish priest ) and his assistants who stood outside and knocked on the door asking for salvation, under normal circumstances the entire congregation would be standing outside with them.
The theme of the mini-mission was titled “Walking with Jesus” with Fr Jean leading parishioners through Jesus’ passion providing plenty of food for thought.
Wednesday eve of Holy week in Maronite tradition is a special healing mass where oil is blessed and distributed to the congregation.
Covid presented a very different challenge to the washing of the feet on Thursday, Fr Jean lit twelve candles signifying the 12 whose feet were to be washed. Mass was followed by Adoration.
Good Friday ( this in Maronite tradition is known as Great Friday ) began mass at 9am. The Maronite rite of Signing of the chalice was celebrated followed by stations of the cross in the church.
Under normal circumstances, the congregation would’ve moved in procession up to a cross on the hill opposite the church while saying the stations. The day came to a sombre end with the re-enactment of the Burial of Christ at 3pm in the afternoon.
Christ was removed from the cross, laid to rest in a casket of flowers, Fr Jean and assistants carried the crucified Christ in procession around the church to the tomb in the corner where they laid him to rest until the resurrection mass on Sunday.
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