ALL SHC choirs in red (English, BM and Chi) whereas St Paul Dontozidon in white

By Catherine Wan

Dec 28 2021

KOTA KINABALU – For the second year in a row, Sacred Heart Cathedral parish was unable to have caroling from door to door although SOP has been relaxed during the phase four.

However, thanks to modern technology, the parish continued to bring the glad tidings of Christmas to parishioners through virtual caroling,.

In compliance with the current SOP, the parish decided on a hybrid-concept for the Carols by Candlelight on Dec 19. Fr Paul invited assistant priests, pastoral council members, some religious sisters and some ministry groups for the physical caroling, while the Carols was also live-streamed on the parish YouTube channel for the viewing of other parishioners.

The caroling began with the hymn “O come Divine Messiah!” by the English Choir, followed by an opening prayer by the rector and proclamation of Gospel of Luke 2:1-14 on the birth of Jesus.

“In God alone do we find the joy of salvation. Do not lose hope, but put your faith in the Lord,” exhorted the rector.

“The carolers are like the angels proclaiming the Good News and bringing joy and hope to the hearts of those who believe in Him,” said Fr Paul.

In his turn, Archbishop John Wong spoke about the two phases of Advent: phase one emphasizes on repentance, to stay awake and pray; while phase two (17-24 Dec) focuses on rejoicing in grateful expectation of Jesus’ coming. His coming as a gift is to bring us the treasure of abundant graces and the reason for hope that God is with us,” explained by His Grace.

Fr Paul Lo (left photo) giving his speech followed by Archbishop John Wong (right photo) before the Carols by Candlelight.

Each choir took turn to present three carols in its respective language – English, Malay, Mandarin and Kadazan, conveying the joy and hope of Christmas.

As the saying goes, ‘without preparation, there will be no celebration’. Hence, the parish has also made available Advent individual Confessions for parishioners to prepare their hearts for the birth of Jesus from Dec 6-17. The confessions were organized with SOP in mind on a daily basis, except for weekends, with three time slots which allowed a maximum limit of 200 people for each time slot. Parishioners were advised to do online registration beforehand.   

With thorough preparation, not only physically but also spiritually, may we find joy, peace and hope in the celebration of Christmas.

Confession during Advent season (6 -17 Dec) available in three slots a day in SHC as an important preparation for Christmas.