Zabbar Parish Church 400th Anniversary Celebration
The event started with a procession by the members of the Order from the Chapel of the Annunciation to the Parish Church of Our Lady of Graces.
Apart from the Order’s banner, the ornate banner which had been donated to the Zabbar Parish by Grand Master Chigi in 1951, on the occasion of the coronation of the titular painting (by Alessio Erardi), was also proudly carried in the procession.
The local parishioners came out in force to see the knights and dames process and also made them feel most welcome throughout the activity. The Archpriest greeted in person all the members as they entered the church which was very richly furnished and beautifully bedecked.
There was a brief speech before Holy Mass concerning the connection between the Order and the Parish.
The Rev. Can. Evan Caruana, Archpriest, was the main Celebrant and delivered an excellent homily, whilst Mgr. John Azzopardi, Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross ad honorem, and Fr Joseph Farrugia concelebrated.
The Notre Dame parish choir of Zabbar Church, directed by maestro Charles Vincenti, enthralled the packed church that was filled to capacity with over 600 persons.
After Holy Mass, a bouquet of flowers was presented to the statue of Our Lady of Graces by Dame Helen Zammit and the Hospitaller, Dr Kevin Dingli, presented and lit the Votive Candle on behalf of the Maltese Association.
The members and the clergy then proceeded to pray before and then to kiss the crucified Christ in an area of the Church dedicated to the Jubilee of Mercy.
At the end of the religious celebration a display of the interesting artefacts in the Church was viewed, following which drinks and eats were served in the Church’s Museum that is most impressive and certainly worth a visit.