The feast of Christ the King is without a doubt the climax of the year here in Rockdale, and this 27th October, 2019 was no exception.
God blessed us with perfect Sydney weather, calming Saturday’s high winds and heat, and silencing the planes. Although very festive in appearance, the priory church, hall and grounds were deserted, for the Solemn High Mas was to take place at Rockdale’s Town Hall at 9.00am. We had the great joy of having amongst us Holy Cross Seminary, with Fr. Chris Curtis celebrating Mass and the seminarians and Brothers serving it. Rockdale parishioners were not left out, however: a few of the boys were also in the sanctuary and the Handmaids of Mary, with the Sisters, sang the Propers and Palestrina’s Missa Brevis. Eyes and ears feasted on the beauty of the Liturgy, made even more regal by the surroundings. The crucifix high above the altar – stark white on the black backdrop – was an eloquent illustration of Fr. Curtis’ reminder in his sermon, that “Christ reigns from the Cross. If we try to take Christ down from the Cross, if we try to take sacrifice out of our lives, we will lose the faith.”
It was in order to publicly profess our faith in Christ the King that, following the Mass, the 300 faithful present joined the procession that wended its way back to the Child Jesus and Saint Joseph church at the priory. While the attention of the inhabitants of Rockdale was attracted by the sound of the band and the fervent singing, by the long line of colourful flags, the handbells of the altar boys and the white dresses of the flower girls, Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament – so silent yet so powerfully active – distributed graces and blessings to all along the way. The 45- minute procession passed too quickly and ended with the blessing of our King and the roof-lifting singing of “Christ the king of Every Nation”. It was a little bit of heaven on earth…
The spiritual joys of the day were not the only ones though. After the ceremony, an appetizer, followed by the now traditional Christ the King of all Nations Meal gave everyone the opportunity to fill empty stomachs while enjoying each other’s company. Some entertainment was provided by the Handmaid of Mary and a few students from St. Dominic Savio School. Imagine an Italian dance performed by four Filipino children! We also enjoyed flute pieces, a poem, a…cat fight…sung (or miaowed!) by four young ladies, as well as a beautiful rendition of “Wouldn’t it be Lovely” from “My Fair Lady”.
Christus vincit, Christus reignat, Christus imperat! Thank you, dear Lord, for this magnificent feast day!