About 70 youths from the six East District parishes took part in an overnight Lenten vigil at East Coast Park.
The event started with a Christian Passover Celebration, or Seder Meal, on March 16 evening at the Church of the Holy Family and ended at dawn the next day at the beach.
The vigil was organised by the Holy Family Youth Office with help from the parish pastoral council and East district youth representatives.
The event was to help the youth “encounter Christ through a journey”, said Mr Andrew Lin, youth coordinator at Holy Family Church.
As such, after the Seder Meal in church, each parish’s facilitator led the youths in a walk to East Coast Park to commemorate Moses leading his people out of Egypt.
The youths, aged 12 to 28, took part in prayers and sharings to reflect on the experience of Jesus’ disciples at Gethsemane.
They also prayed the Stations of the Cross and watched a skit portraying Peter’s denial of Jesus.
The vigil ended with the youths renewing their baptismal promises by the sea at dawn. This was followed by breakfast in which participants reflected on Jesus’ appearance to His disciples at the Sea of Tiberias after His resurrection.
Participants said they found the experience enriching.
Stephanie Lee said she was able to enter more deeply into Jesus’ pain as she reflected on His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The experience has also taught her to be more open to God’s love, she added.
She told CatholicNews that the renewal of baptismal promises helped her to appreciate her baptism more as she had been baptised as an infant.
Oliver Yong said the highlight of the event for him were the sharings among the participants, adding that he enjoyed the fellowship.
The East District youth Lenten vigil was the first event this year aiming “to create a vibrant and united youth scene within the district through building relationships across the parishes”, Mr Lin told CatholicNews.
He added that more district events are being planned this year.
By Darren Boon