In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 24th meeting of the Episcopal Regional Liturgy Commission (ERLC) was a hybrid event, both in-person and virtual, from June 6 to 9.
President of the ERLC, Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang, Malaysia, said that liturgy should lead to unity, not division, in his opening address.
A representative of the pope reminded the delegates, “It is not possible to worship God while the liturgy is used as a battleground by those who do not understand, indeed, outdated issues, and by those who have ideologies that split the Church.”
The Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei - the Alkitab versi Borneo Initiative, the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences' golden jubilee celebrations, a newly composed litany to honour local saints, and the Pan Malaysia Pastoral Convention in 2026 were also examined in detail.
It was discussed how the Catholic churches managed to celebrate Mass despite the many restrictions during Covid, and how to maintain a liturgical climate under such circumstances.
In addition, they discussed various liturgical rites translated into Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia (BM) and Tamil.
A monthly column will also be written by the ERLC for the Malaysia Herald beginning in July 2022, and this resource can also be used by other media outlets in the region.
Several months have been spent on the third edition of the “Sing Your Praise” to God hymnal, and all the older versions (clip edition) will be discontinued by the end of the year.
Sandakan Diocese has stopped projecting hymns and is encouraging the Catholics to use the updated hymnal, according to Neil Mah, a member of the ERLC Music Committee.
There will only be 1,000 copies printed for the accompanying version before the end of the year.
The music committee presented two virtual workshops on the SYPG to bishops, priests, and choirs from the Conference during a one-day workshop.
On YouTube, one can still view a video of the workshop: https://youtu.be/5td_pCYKL8c.
After a successful meeting in which many issues regarding translations of different liturgical books were settled, the virtual workshop on the updated SYPG was also fulfilling, as the liturgical music committee received positive feedback in addition to some suggestions that will be examined. - Anbu Selvam
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