All Hail the King! It was indeed a sight to behold as worshippers from St. Dominic Parish, Yaba, Lagos joined other catholic faithful in Nigeria to celebrate Corpus Christi in a procession, Sunday, November 25, 2018.
Corpus Christi is the feast commemorating the institution of the holy Eucharist. The church celebrates the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the son of God in the Eucharist. In Nigeria, the Feast of Christ the King held early June in western countries is celebrated on Corpus Christi day, on the authority of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in order to avoid the rainy season for a public procession.
Rowe Park, Ebute Metta, Lagos was filled to capacity by 1.30pm as parishioners assembled from different churches, out-stations and chaplaincies of the parish. The procession was lead by a cross bearer, the candle bearers, then followed by the St. Giles choir and other society members and the people that did not belong to any society. In all there were 11 groups all headed by choirs and church organisations. The eleventh group, the canopy train, had St. Cecilia choir, Knights of the Alter, Board of Lectors, Lay Dominican Brothers and Sisters, Papal Knights and Medallists, Knights & Ladies of St. Mulumba, Knight and Ladies of St John International, Our lady of Apostles sisters, Clergy and Religious, the flower girls, Censer Bearers, the canopy with the reverend father carrying the Blessed Sacrament.
As the procession streamed out of Row Park onto the route, there were traffic control officers manning and ensuring free flow of traffic, church wardens, upper room stewards, Christ The King Day committee members, the Red Cross, health care ministry, all on hand walking along side the people handing glucose sachets and water bottles to the those that needed them. There was also an ambulance for any emergency, and a bus to pick up tired people who couldn’t continue with the procession, mostly little children. There were the bikers running errands coordinating and transmitting messages from the front to the rear. There were also sanitation minders, with bin bags, picking up litter from careless participants as the procession progressed. They collected water bottles, empty sachets, sweet wrappers and other disposables.
The sun was hot but was the least on people’s minds as they danced gaily to their King, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. People rejoiced, sang and danced like David danced before the Lord, “with all his might to honour the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:14). The Upper Room band was on hand, rolling out melodious tunes, with rosary recitation at intervals.
Parishioners Dancing Joyously
For who else will people troupe out so joyfully like this? It could only be for God. Women with babies strapped to their backs, others with their children in prams, old women and men, pregnant women all defied the blazing sun to come out and sing, dance, praise the Lord and tell the world that Jesus Christ is the universal King.
The procession ended inside St. Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos. It was brightly decorated for the event. As the priest entered the church premises with the Blessed Sacrament all knelt down in humble adoration to Christ the King.
The priest and the religious entered the church with the Blessed Sacrament and the fifth and the final of the Glorious mysteries was completed. A solemn adoration of the Blessed Sacrament then followed, with readings from 2 Samuel 6:14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-24 and from John’s gospel.
Pastor of St. Dominic Parish, Rev. Fr. Charles Onwordi, OP, took the sermon to emphasise the joyful meaning of the entire day’s procession and events. Using scripture, he explained Passover as the forerunner of the Eucharist the perfect gift from a perfect King to his people. He also used other passages from the Bible to let the congregation understand the importance of true worship and praise for the true, everlasting king as other kings have expiry dates. Therefore, we should obey God’s commandment and put God, our eternal King, first in our life. Our day-to-day decisions, he added, determine destiny. So, we should be people of faith, trusting God’s infallible word, building our faith as our mission statement of 2018 said “ LET US STAND FIRM IN THE FAITH, BE COURAGEOUS, LET OUR ACTIONS SHOW OUR LOVE.”
Finally, the Pastor gave vote of thanks, thanking parishioners for an orderly conduct during the procession and asked all to keep the light of our king shinning through our actions at all time. Peace!
Categorised in: Feast Day
This post was written by Francisca Jemeni