Resurrection Cake

The Empty Tomb Cake

The Lord is risen! He is truly risen. What began on Ash Wednesday with a call to a closer walk with Christ by fasting and abstinence culminated in the highest point of the Church’s liturgy- The Triduum. In the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas, Ibadan, the Holy Thursday kicked off with a Chrism mass at the St. Mary’s Cathedral, where the priests in the archdiocese gathered around their bishop, Rt Rev Gabriel Abegunrin, to renew their vows to the Holy Mother Church. The celebration was made even more colourful as it was the Archbishop’s first Chrism mass in the Archdiocese of Ibadan since his installation earlier this year.

Few hours later, all the friars of the priory gathered to commemorate in a special way the Lord’s Supper. The mass was celebrated by the former Socius to the Master of the Order, Bro. Cletus Nwabuzor. In his homily, he reminded us of the three important themes of the celebration of the day namely: the Holy Priesthood, the Holy Eucharist, and lastly, a call to service. 

The Good Friday service began with the Stations of the Cross procession within the community. The service was celebrated by the prior of the community Bro. Dominic Mbomson. Some members of the worshipping community often refer to this day as a “black day” because this solemn service is usually marked with the tradition of wearing of the Cappa by all the friars in the community as an expression of its sober mood.

All these culminated in the celebration of the Easter Vigil and the solemn chant of the ‘Exultet’, beautifully rendered by one of the deacons Bro. Clement Uzoanya. The chief celebrant, who is at the same time the Registrar of the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Bro. Kenneth Nkadi, helped the community partake actively in the liturgy where heaven and earth became one. It was as though, like the three disciples at the transfiguration, we all should remain there, as the blinding Light of the risen Lord filled the chapel.

As the Friars sat down for supper on Easter night, there came quite an amazing sight. At dinner, the community was presented with a cake, too gorgeous to describe. It was a cake of the resurrection tagged “EMPTY TOMB CAKE”. The cake depicted clearly what happened on the day of the resurrection. Right before the guards, the Glory of God rolled away the tomb stone, while the crucified Christ, resurrected in a glory that is unspeakable. The cake was made by the same novice brother (Uche Odikpo) who made the Summa cake on the feast of our brother Thomas Aquinas. Pictures were snapped with the cake after which it was consumed by the whole community. It was really a splendid Easter celebration for the members of the Priory. Truly, Christ has risen.


With immense hope that the promise of Christ in 2 Cor. 15:20-24 will be our portion, the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas, where he lived until his death, and indeed the entire members of the Province of St Joseph the Worker mourn the death of her second oldest Nigerian Dominican by profession, Rev. Bro. Clement Tyulen who passed-on on the morning of April the 10th after a brief illness. Friar Clement Tyulen was a co-operator brother who worked for many years with Bro. Peter Martin Otillio and late Bro. Joseph Kenny in the northern part of Nigeria, before he was assigned to Ibadan some years ago.

He will be buried on Thursday, the fourth day in the octave of Easter. Let us remember to pray for the repose of his soul during our community prayers.

The Lord is Risen,  Alleluia! Alleluia!

By, Bro Onyenuru Paulinus.


(22 April 2014)