Many ways to mark Good Friday

Many ways to mark Good Friday

The common image of the biblical Last Supper is probably that of Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting: Jesus at the centre of a long table, with apostles on either side.

But this Good Friday, St Paul's Church staged a more historically accurate depiction.

"It's a re-enactment of how it could possibly have happened," said Reverend Ng Koon Sheng, vicar of the Anglican church located in Upper Serangoon Road.

It was one of many ways, besides the usual services, in which churches marked Good Friday yesterday, commemorating the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Rev Ng said Jesus and the apostles were likely to have reclined on a triclinium, an ancient Roman set-up with couches along three sides of a low table.

Participants re-enacted the Last Supper as Rev Ng narrated important moments such as the breaking of bread and pouring of wine, which form the basis of the Christian rite of Holy Communion.

"I want people to have a more accurate understanding of the scriptures," he said.

For churchgoer Raymond Chua, 61, it worked. "We got a clearer understanding. A picture really paints a thousand words."

At St Joseph's Church in Victoria Street, the Good Friday service ended with a traditional candlelit procession around the church compound, with worshippers flocking behind a life-size statue of Christ, carried on a bier, and a statue of the Virgin Mary.

In contrast, the Methodist Church of the Incarnation in Choa Chu Kang staged an original musical, set in the modern day, about "Christ's love for everyone".

At the Salvation Army, worshippers passed through a series of rooms representing episodes in Jesus' death and resurrection, to prompt them to reflect.

The Singapore arm of the charity marks its 80th anniversary this year and its international leader, General Andre Cox, led yesterday's service.

Some Catholic churches, such as Novena Church, staged traditional passion plays depicting the trial, suffering and death of Jesus.

The youth group of the Catholic Church of St Ignatius usually does the same, but tried something different this year.

For each of the Stations of the Cross along Jesus' path to Crucifixion, a biblical character talked about their feelings and reactions. Questions projected in the background prompted the audience to reflect as well.

"We're trying to give a voice to the less-heard characters," said youth coordinator Keith Neubronner, 26.

"We are hoping that there is at least one character that each member of the congregation can relate to."

janiceh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 4, 2015.
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