Come And Have Breakfast said the words on a wall in the Church of Christ the King. A strange invitation considering that the time for "breakfast" was 8 p.m. on April 25. Well, the event was the third in a series of special "Banquet" Masses held at the church on the last Saturday of each month.
The unusual feature of these Masses is the incorporation of lively praise-and-worship songs within the celebrations themselves. Here, communion is served under both species, i.e. bread and wine. The bread is also made from unleavened bread, close to the actual bread used by Jesus in His time.
The Banquet Masses started with the Jesusfest organised by the parish and held last year at the Kallang Theatre. Instead of having a lively praise-and-worship session before Mass, the vibrant songs were incorporated into the Mass itself. At the same time, certain parts of the liturgy were conducted in a creative manner.
Parishioners liked the new concept so much that they approached their priests and requested similar Masses on a regular basis. Fr Terence Pereira decided to take up the idea, and thus a Banquet Committee was set up, drawing from the various church groups already present.
The inspiration for the name "banquet" came from the Book of Psalms 34:8 "Taste and see that the Lord is good", thus the slogan for the events which is "Come taste and see".
Franciscan Deacon Gerard Victor, in his homily, reminded the people that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. He said the Lord invites us for this meal, just like He invited his disciples in the Gospel. Fr Terence Pereira challenged the congregation to put to use the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given them. We must put in our effort, and God will do the rest, he said. He dismissed the common excuse of "having no time" -- he himself is spiritual director of some 30 organisations -- and added that those who give to the Lord experience "satisfaction and joy", for He gives to those who give of themselves.
The evening ended almost three hours later when a blue ribbon was given to the each of the more than 600-strong congregation. It was to be given to somebody who one thinks needs a word of encouragement.
Commented one participant, Mr Simon Tan, 21: "The Banquet was thoroughly enjoyable. I feel like I'm really praising the Lord in the songs, and the Mass does not feel boring like the usual Sunday Masses, even though it lasted much longer."
The next Banquet is on June 27.
Animators Geraint Wong & Claudia Ng doing a wonderful job in Praise and Worship.
The band that played great music, but was usually left unappreciated. So, go up to them and thank the band after every event. For they are the people that sweated while the congregation were enjoying themselves, and sacrificed time to practice. Great job guys!
Fiona Kwok & Michelle Lin (in foreground), dancers who put their ballet experience in God's work. They really put the rest of us to shame. :> Nice work gals!
The crowd enjoying themselves.
Franciscan Deacon Gerard Victor reading the Gospel.
The 'Blood of Christ' is served.
An altar server, the Deacon, Fr Terence Pereira and our Lord in residence.
And the committee that gave us this awesome Banquet!