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Couple of years back in 2015, I blogged and commented it was probably one of the most challenging Lent.

I am quite certain now that 2020 hands down comes in tops.

We entered Lent in March as we saw the COVID-19 coronavirus brewing in many parts of the world. The Catholic Archdiocese in Singapore had already announced that all gatherings and Eucharistic celebration were to halt since 14 February. Ash Wednesday or the start of Holy Lent was celebrated in the most unusual manner. The congregation having a taste of what is to come.

Virtual online masses, what many thought would never come to light became the norm. Celebrating the first online mass during COVID-19, deprived of physically receiving the Holy Eucharist, my heart swelled and my eyes weld teary. Never in history, for as long as I am aware, the Body and Blood of Christ was offered freely, never taken away from us.

I made the best out of Lent participating in YouVersion’s 40acts: The Lent Generosity Challenge. Each day for 40 days, the app guides us to read the Word of God, a testimonial sharing and related to that, a Generosity Challenge. Some challenges were fairly straight forward, requiring a pledge of commitment or monetary donation to a specific cause. While others took more time to execute and truly raised the bar, such as donating blood! Through the process I came to be familiar with a few causes that never crossed my mind. The act of Generosity continues to be a work in-progress for me. Giving because I truly love.

The biggest regret for me during Lent was missing the Sacrament of Confession. When the Circuit Breaker (CB) also the acronym of an awful dirty phrase in Hokkien, took effect on 7 April, it became impossible to even make a private appointment to visit a priest. A clear reminder to not procrastinate and prioritize the things that matters.

As the reality of CB kicked in, it became evident that I was entering Holy Week in the most unusual circumstance.

Palm Sunday Celebration

The Easter celebration from Maundy Thursday till Easter Vigil on Saturday night is in fact one extended mass. Following the historical timeline from Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, the church plunges into darkest and devotees spend time on Thursday night before the Blessed Sacrament, praying with Christ Jesus before his imminent crucifixion on Good Friday.

As all the Churches shut their doors, I couldn’t make my annual church visiting mini pilgrimage. I lit my candles, dimmed the room lights and spent an hour before a 40 inch TV screen of the Blessed Sacrament. It was the next best thing.

Good Friday Service

From the darkness comes a great light

Easter Vigil, high mass, is my favourite mass every year. This year, in our Mother Church, the Cathedral of the Good Shepard, our Archbishop welcomed the Risen Lord in an empty church. He gave a fiery, remarkable sermon on Christ The Light that illuminates the Four Nights.

The empty church represents my very empty heart that is in need for the Risen Lord to illuminate in. Then we become the bearer of light, the bearer of hope in everything.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease Declared Pandemic
Lent 2015
Entering Into Holy Week
Psalm 22
Lenten Reflection 2009
Be Still this Good Friday
Anima Christi
Getting Lent Right
The Passion
Lent 2004
Last week of Lent
Into Lent

1 comment:

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