The Beauty of Traditions

It was six o’ clock in the evening.  The FRC leads the congregation in praying the Angelus.  I joined them.

I felt so happy that we do have church bells.  There is nothing like praying the Angelus to the sound of bells. The ringing of the bells is, for me, God’s call to His community.

Bells are part of the traditions of the Church.

Like the ringing of bells, many other traditions of the Church are fading away.  Take the devotion to saints.  Names of children to be baptized used to be chosen from among the names of saints and Biblical characters.  The child takes his namesake as his patron saint.  The life of the saint helps inspire the child into living out the many Christian virtues the saint concretized in his life.  The patron saint is a model for the child; he is also his protector from evil and intercessor to God.  Nowadays, however, parents choose name of doubtful origin and at times, ridiculous.

Last August, I stood sponsor at baptism of the daughter of my hairdresser.  When the priest asked, “What name are you going to give this child?”  The reply was “BB”.  He patiently told the parent that he needed to have the proper name not just a nickname.  Again the mother answered the name was “BB”.  Not able to control himself, the priest asked: “What does BB mean?  And the congregation answered, duck!

After the baptismal ceremony, the priest told me:  “If only we, priests, can insist that names such as BB be change to Christian names.  But then the name the parents present to us at baptism is that which they declared with the Civil Registry and is contained in the birth certificate.”

To help revive the devotion to the saints, Monsignor Odiver put up the Gallery of Saints to constantly remind and encourage the parishioners to pray or to sponsor masses (and possibly triduum and novena) on the saint’s feast day.

Tradition helps build communities.  We identify ourselves with a particular group doing special things in common with the members of that group at certain times of the year.  Advent, Lent and Easter are for us – the seasons when we become more conscious of our being Catholics.

There are many things I appreciate in St. Therese of Lisieux; one of which is her child-like trust in the Father, that the Father does not disappoint anyone who entrusts oneself to his fatherly care.  Hence, St. Therese, with child-like confidence, could say that even when she was in heaven, she would continue to pray for the conversion of souls.

From time to time, I would ask the children in Sunday School if they would like to be saints.  Usually less than a handful would raise their hands.  But when I clarified if they would like to be in heaven, then all would raise their hands.  I supposed that “saint” meant for them canonized saint (a deceased person officially declared by the Church as saint).

However, I have a five-year-old boy in class who confided to me that he wanted to be a saint.  But, he wants God to let him go straight to heaven without a detour in purgatory.

That’s pretty amazing!  No wonder Jesus wants the little children to come to him.



Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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