Josette Salomon, Our Lady Ta Pinu Shrine, Bacchus Marsh
From the early hours of the 2017 Good Friday morning, they came in great numbers to the Shrine of Our Lady Ta Pinu in Bacchus Marsh. Individuals, family units, community groups came, all armed with guitars and prayer books to meditate on the Way of the Cross. The car park filled up quickly and the expert advice of Msgr Benedict Camilleri was called upon at the gate by the traffic controllers, Joe and Tony Vella.
Soon after, despite the smooth stream flow of cars, the traffic on the M8 Freeway came to a standstill.
Surely Mother Mary would have been proud to see her sons and daughters answering her call to prayer 'Come, come'.
Then the morning services by the Syro-Malabar community began, with the church simply overflowing from all sides. Despite the cold misty rain, the congregation remained devoutly attentive. And finally, the Stations of the Cross...a human riverflow... a breathtaking moment which left us speechless.
Before the morning service was over, the car park was filling up again, this time for those joining us for the liturgy of the Passion of Our Lord, which was led by Bishop Mark Edwards assisted by Msgr Benedict Camilleri and Rev Carmel Borg.
Our main church filled quickly. A few welcoming words were offered by Lewis Stafrace, President of the Bacchus Marsh Good Friday Association, and the place was already to standing room only capacity.
Members of the clergy entered in silence, befitting the profound reverence during the liturgy.
A seamless and touching service indeed it was, followed soon after by the pageant.
It became obvious that not even the recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet in the church could stop the excitement of witnessing the passion of Our Lord's pageant.
A holy and beautiful Good Friday. Well done to each and everyone!