Bigard Memorial Seminary, on Sunday November 24, 2019 joined the universal Church to celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King. The celebration which is universally marked on the last Sunday of Ordinary Time highlights the lordship of Christ over the whole of creation. In Bigard, as in other parts of Nigeria, the celebration was marked with procession, a celebration which is usually carried over on account of unfavorable weather that is characteristic of the month of June when the feast of Corpus Christi is universally marked.
Here in Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, the Eucharistic celebration started at 07:30 hours. The Rector of the seminary, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Albert Ikpenwa presided over the celebration while the rest of other priests on the staff concelebrated. The lay staff and visitors who came from far and wide were also part of the celebration.
In his homily, the chief celebrant presented Jesus as the ideal king. He identified two perspectives through which the rulership of Jesus can be made to take root in the world. First, the rulers of the world must know that their authority is of God, who is the supreme leader. They are, therefore, to consider their positions, as one of service to the community. He noted that this concerns everyone as all are leaders in some capacities. Second, all the ruled must conduct themselves like people who are under God’s laws. All good laws must, therefore, be seen as laws from God which ought to be obeyed.
After the Post- Communion prayers, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. As the sacred specie was being incensed, the large crowd of the faithful chanted an adoration song. With this, the stage was set for the Corpus Christi procession. People proceeded out of the Seminary Chapel following a specified order that had been announced. Outside the chapel, the procession was most entertaining. Musical instruments sounded at different points, each harmonizing the order. Traditional Canon shots, at some intervals, were sounded. Each of the jubilating groups sang and danced to the synchrony of their own unique piece of music. Intermittently, a bell was jingled. At the jingle of the bell, all the matching groups turned and bowed to the Blessed Sacrament exposed and held up in a Monstrance by a priest.
The procession was concluded inside the Seminary Chapel with a benediction. But before the Tantum Ergo was chanted, the Seminary Music Director rendered a song titled “Onye bu Eze (Who is the King?)” in a most fascinating way. Later in the evening, the seminarians and formators gathered again in the Seminary Chapel for the Evening Prayer II of the Solemnity of Christ the King.