Visita Iglesia 2020: Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

The Holy Week is already upon us. Today we Catholics celebrate Palm Sunday, which is the day when we commemorate the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem. Sadly, we are still in the Enhanced Community Quarantine where Sunday masses are forbidden. Many Holy Week traditions are also forbidden and one of these is the Visita Iglesia.

Traditionally, Visita Iglesia is done by visiting 7 churches on Maundy Thursday. Pilgrims pray 2 stations of the cross when visiting 7 churches or one station of the cross when visiting 14 churches. Many Filipino Catholics do Visita Iglesia as a form of penance. Others do it because they believe that their wishes will come true after visiting the 7th or 14th church. Others do it as a form of tour especially for historical and old churches. 

Yearly, I tried to do a sort of virtual Visita Iglesia as my way to "celebrate" the Holy Week. Per day, starting Palm Sunday, I feature one church that I previously visited.

Today is Palm Sunday and I feature the chapel that I visit whenever I go to SM Megamall. That chapel is the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord.

Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall

The chapel is on the 5th floor of SM Megamall and is quite spacious. It can seat 1,000 to 1,200 people,  which makes it bigger than some parish churches.

Inside the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall

My family sometimes attends Sunday Mass in this chapel. The place is always packed with people and most of them will shop in SM after the mass. It is a convenient arrangement for SM and also the reason why many malls have chapels or, at least, hosts Sunday masses. 

The altar of this chapel is simple and like other Novus Ordo chapels the tabernacle is on the side.

Altar of Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall

At the back of the church is the section where parents with kids can attend mass. The place is somewhat soundproof so the noise of crying babies will not be heard in the main part of the chapel. 

My favorite part of this chapel is the Adoration Chapel at the back.

The Holy Eucharist in the adoration chapel of Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall

This place is my refuge whenever I have to stay long in SM Megamall and I have nothing to do. This is where I found silence and freedom from the commercialistic noise in the mall outside. 

Many people, particularly the salespeople of SM, also pass by the Adoration Chapel to pray.

Building the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord inside SM Megamall was the idea of the Sy Family, owner of SM malls, and a charismatic group who held prayer meetings inside the mall. The first mass inside the chapel was held in 1998. This makes the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord about 22 years old.

The SM Megamall is placed under the care of the Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society and is within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Manila. 

Having a chapel or holding a Holy Mass inside a shopping mall is a good thing because it places the Lord in the midst of man's activity. The downside, I think, is that it makes people more lazy to actually go to a proper church. The Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord is an exception because the space it occupies is exclusive for Holy Mass and church activities. The sense of reverence is still there. That cannot be said in other malls, however, because some of the masses are held at the corridors and other places that reduce the "Sense of Sacred" of the Holy Mass. Some mall owners use the Sunday mass as a way to draw crowds into their shopping malls. 

Having a chapel inside a shopping mall is good and I will continue to drop by the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord whenever I go to SM. I do hope that one day, the priests managing this chapel will remove this horrifying image of the crucified Lord. 

Desecrated crucifix in Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall

We do not need to desecrate an image of Jesus Christ just to drive a point.

For those who are wishing to attend a Holy Mass in the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord, here is their schedule:

Schedule of masses in Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall

Monday to Friday: 12:15 PM (English) and 6:00 PM (English) 

Saturdays: 12:15 PM (English)

Saturday anticipated mass: 5:00 PM (English) and 7:00 PM (English)

Sundays: 9:00 AM (charismatic mass), 11:00 AM (Chinese), 12:30 PM (English), 2:00 PM (English), 3:30 PM (Tagalog), 5:00 PM (English), 6:30 PM (Tagalog). 

The priests in the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord may be contacted at telephone number (02) 8638-8801 or at their Facebook page

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Prayer to the Holy Eucharist (by St. Bonaventure)

Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, mine inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, with true, serene, and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with love and longing for Thee, that it may yearn for Thee and faint for Thy courts, and long to be dissolved and to be with Thee.

Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the bread of angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delight of taste.

Let my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, whom the angels desire to look upon, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor.

May it ever thirst after Thee, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the richness of the house of God.

May it ever compass Thee, seek Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, attain to Thee, meditate upon Thee, speak of Thee, and do all things to the praise and glory of Thy Holy name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with readiness and affection, and with perseverance unto the end.

Be Thou alone ever my hope and my whole confidence, my riches, my delight, my pleasure and my joy; my rest and tranquility; my peace, my sweetness and my fragrance; my sweet savor, my food and refreshment; my refuge and my help; my wisdom, my portion, my possession and my treasure, in whom may my mind and my heart be ever fixed and firm, and rooted immovably. Amen.

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For the Stations of the Cross, I suggest that you say the prayers posted in Catholic Online.

Since we are in the first church for this virtual Visita Iglesia, pray the...

Act of Contrition

O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry for all my sins, because by them I have offended Thee, Who art infinitely good. I will die rather than offend thee again.

Then you pray the…

First Station of the Cross: Jesus is condemned to death
Second Station of the Cross: Jesus carries His cross

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Information about the Chapel of Eucharistic Lord was referred to Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society website.

The prayer of St. Bonaventure was copied from Churchpop.

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