Allen Shibu, Keighley
The “ettunombu” Feast day of the Virgin Mary was celebrated on Sunday at St. Wilfrid’s church, Leeds. The feast had been highly anticipated and prepared for by the parishioners, who came in from the six different communities throughout Yorkshire. This was officially the first feast that has been celebrated in the parish since the new resident parish priest arrived last month.
The feast started at 10 o clock, with the holy mass. The mass, in the traditional syro Malabar rite, was celebrated by the Liverpool diocese syro Malabar chaplain, Rev. Fr. Jino Arikkad, and after the mass, the large procession through the neighbourhood, in which the church resided in, was led by the Leeds diocese syro Malabar chaplain, Rev. Fr. Mathew Mulayolil. During the homily, the celebrant took care into reminding the community of the problems of today’s world, both religious and secular. The fact that the day was also the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks was not forgotten either, and was addressed, along with a plead to pray for the younger generations, so that more of them will answer their vocation to take up priesthood, or the vows to become religious women.
The procession was as grand as the mass, with the hundreds of people from all six communities coming together to create the large crowd that overflowed outside the church. The procession travelled from the church, all around the
surrounding areas, along with the traditional “chenda melam”. The procession attracted a great deal of attention from the neighbourhood, due to the fact that processions of this nature has not been seen for a long time.
After the procession and final blessings, the parishioners travelled to a nearby hall, where a cultural programme was
to take place. This was introduced by a presidential address by Rev. Fr. Mathew Mulayolil, following an English prayer song. Different acts had been prepared by the children and the parents from each community, and the programme ended by late evening.
This entire feast in general has been a very big success, and shall be marked as a monumental moment in which the new diocese finally begins to take shape. There is great excitement for the episcopal ordination of Mar joseph Srampickal, which is set to take place later on the 9th of October, at Preston.
To watch clips of the Ettu Nombu thirrunnal procession, click the video below