A young Taoist priest married a Catholic bride on Sunday, with the couple holding wedding ceremonies at a Catholic church and later at a Taoist temple.
Chung Kwang Tong, 30, the secretary-general of the Taoist Federation Youth Group, married Jacqueline Yip, 28, following 10 years of courtship.
After the couple completed a traditional Chinese tea ceremony on Sunday morning, they went to the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Siglap Hill, where five priests witnessed their marriage, Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.
They then proceeded to the San Qing Gong temple in Bedok for a traditional Taoist wedding ceremony, with some 50 Taoist and Catholic friends wishing the newlyweds well.
Mr Chung wore a Taoist robe and his wife was in a kua, a traditional Chinese wedding dress. With joss sticks in hand and under the guidance of a Taoist priest, they sought blessings from the heavens.
When asked by Wanbao if Catholics avoid holding joss sticks, Mr Chung explained that the sticks are simply a means to express one's sincerity, so his wife had no objections.
After the ceremony, the couple held a wedding banquet at the Regent Hotel. The guests included Singapore's 10 religious leaders.
Tan Thiam Lye, chairman of Singapore's Taoist Federation, said that the couple's marriage was very special and demonstrated religious harmony in Singapore.
"Not only did Taoists attend the church wedding ceremony, but church nuns also went for the temple (ceremony). Everyone was happy and wished the couple well," he said.
While Mr Chung and Ms Yip have different religious beliefs, they share the same inclinations, Wanbao reported.
He would frequently join her for volunteer work, such as helping the elderly who are in need and children from low-income families. The couple also completed their three-year bachelor degree courses together.
Drawn by Ms Yip's kindness and patience, Mr Chung decided to propose to her last year at a beach, with the help of 10 friends.
"We had carefully planned it for some time. My then girlfriend was thoroughly surprised at the time and agreed to marry me," said Mr Chung.
"When we started dating, we were aware our religions were different. But religion is just a part of a person's life. The most important thing is that we love, respect and accommodate each other."
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