Singaporeans celebrate Easter, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Singaporeans celebrate Easter

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Singaporeans, tourists flock to churches for Easter

Easter is a special day for florist Lydia Teo, as it was the day she was baptised three years ago at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul on Queen Street.

Yesterday, she was among those singing with the church choir during Sunday Mass, marking the end of a "journey" that started with Lent - a 40-day period of fasting prior to Easter Sunday.

"It feels like a second chance to work on your life," Ms Teo, 29, said of Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

She was among Singaporeans and tourists who flocked to churches around the island yesterday, following Easter vigil the night before.

On Saturday night, Pope Francis led the world's Roman Catholics into Easter at a vigil mass in St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, urging the faithful to live not for transient things such as wealth and success but instead for God, Reuters reported.

"God takes away even the hardest stones against which our hopes and expectations crash: death, sin, fear, worldliness," said Pope Francis on Saturday.

In Singapore, Mr Philip Hau, 62, who works in the shipping industry, said Easter remains an exciting experience "especially when there are more people being baptised and joining our family".

Yesterday, he attended morning Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Siglap with more than 300 others, and another session in Cantonese in the afternoon at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, which he has been visiting since 2004.

"My family usually has dinner to celebrate Easter Sunday as well, after coming to church," said Mr Hau, who was with his wife and 18-year-old son.

Meanwhile, for the first time in nine centuries, there were no Easter services at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

A fire, believed to be an accident, ravaged the historic cathedral in the French capital last Monday, destroying its iconic spire and wooden roof, although the main body and many of its treasures - including its famous rose windows - were saved.

This forced worshippers to find other places for Easter services, with the Paris diocese inviting them to attend Easter Mass on Sunday at the Saint-Eustache Church on the Right Bank of the Seine River, the Associated Press reported.

Notre-Dame Cathedral is not expected to reopen to the public for at least five or six years, but French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a quick reconstruction.