Christians mark Good Friday in old and new ways

Worshippers attending the evening service at St Joseph's Church in Victoria Street yesterday, where a 191-year-old life-size wooden statue of Christ was carried around the church compound on a bier.
Worshippers attending the evening service at St Joseph's Church in Victoria Street yesterday, where a 191-year-old life-size wooden statue of Christ was carried around the church compound on a bier.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Procession, game show for kids among ways churches commemorate Christ's crucifixion

Christians in Singapore celebrated Good Friday yesterday, with many attending church services, a candlelit procession and even a game show for children.

About 1,000 worshippers turned up at the Church of the Risen Christ in Toa Payoh for its afternoon service commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

In a common Good Friday tradition, the congregation venerated the crucifix by kissing the feet of Christ.

As the sun set, St Joseph's Church in Victoria Street lit up as thousands turned up for the evening church service and annual candlelit procession.

Many got down on their knees and muttered prayers as a 191-year-old life-size wooden statue of Christ was carried around the church compound on a bier, re-enacting the biblical scene in which he was taken down from his cross to be laid in a tomb after crucifixion.

Business owner Selvie Maniam, 55, said she has been going for the church's Good Friday service for over 30 years. "I want to thank (Christ) for the prayers that he has answered. I would feel out of sorts if I didn't come," said Madam Maniam, who had driven down from her home in Yio Chu Kang.

Temasek Polytechnic student Nicodemus Lim, 19, who usually attends another church in Siglap, was also at St Joseph's yesterday with his parents, godparents and siblings.

"It's a long-time tradition for my family. This occasion is a chance for us to reflect on our doings and why Jesus died for us," he said.

Over at Trinity Christian Centre in Paya Lebar, children were treated to two sessions of an interactive game show put up by members of the church pastoral staff and volunteers.

More than 600 kids were given clues to solve questions and puzzles related to Easter.

Easter, which comes two days after Good Friday, celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

Reverend Dominic Yeo, senior pastor of Trinity Christian Centre, said the games add a "modern-day twist" to teaching children about the significance of Easter.

"We try to engage the children in a different way. They learn much better when there's a more hands- on approach," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2016, with the headline 'Christians mark Good Friday in old and new ways'. Print Edition | Subscribe