Parishioners of Holy Family Parish in Gonville, Whanganui, gained a real understanding of the many tongues heard on the first Pentecost when they attended an international Mass at the parish’s vigil on Saturday night.
To recognise that people from many countries were able to understand the apostles as they spoke in tongues, parishioners from different countries were invited to participate in their mother tongue.
Srian Fonseka from Sri Lanka, introduced the congregation to each of the flag bearers. The Papal Flag bearer led the procession, then followed the flags of Australia, Canada, Ireland, Jersey Channel Islands, Netherlands, Samoa, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tonga and New Zealand. Each flag bearer greeted those assembled in their own language.
The liturgy took place in M%u0101ori, Irish, Latin, Dutch, Samoan and Sri Lankan with translations provided. The Prayers of the Faithful were in Indian, French, Tongan, M%u0101ori, Singaporean and English.
The South African community presented the gifts at the Offertory and the Samoan Community, leis for the celebrants, Eucharistic ministers and altar servers.
After Mass all enjoyed a sumptuous feast of traditional foods.