By Gwen Manickam
PETALING JAYA — In honour of the International Day of Older Persons, the Church of the Assumption celebrated a Mass for its senior parishioners on Sunday, 4 Oct at 11.30am.
To further safeguard the vulnerability of its high-risk attendees, the Parish’s Response Team adjusted the church’s seating arrangement from one metre to 1.5 metres between each person, to ensure extra social distancing. About 130 people, including several senior religious sisters, registered online for this special Mass and there were 20 walk-ins.
During Holy Communion, parishioners remained at their seats as the presider, Rev Fr Richard Anthonysamy SJ, and seven Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, took the sacred host to the people.
Before the final blessing, Archbishop Julian Leow’s video message on the International Day of Older Persons was aired, followed by Parish Priest Fr Gregory Chan and Fr Richard going around the church to anoint the senior attendees.
Pioneer parishioner Grace Pragasam, 82, could not contain her excitement when asked how it felt to attend Mass in church again.
“I have been waiting for months to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion in church. The last physical Mass I attended was in March. From the registration process to being ushered to our seats, we were made to feel very special, and it felt like we were wanted back in church. The anointing was an added blessing,” said the former Altar Ladies coordinator.
“While I am so grateful that our parish’s Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have been diligently bringing the sacred host to the seniors and homebound every Sunday for several months, attending Mass in person was just amazing.”
After the thrill of attending Mass in church again, Grace’s friend Iris Yee was very sad to hear of Mass being suspended until further notice. “We already registered online to attend for Mass next weekend.”
Alexandrina Savari, 75, said, “Am so glad I attended one Sunday Mass in church after six months. With the new suspension, not sure when we can return to church again.”