Easter Combined Services I 17 April 2022 I 8.30 and 11.30 am
It was a sight that had not been seen in some two years — the Sanctuary packed with congregants, with hardly any empty space in the pews.
And it was also a sound that had not been heard, for the same duration — the combined singing voices from the worshippers.
Wesley Methodist Church was geared to mark Easter 2022 amid the easing of the safe management measures from 29 March 2022 — worshippers could resume singing with masks on and safe distancing was no longer mandated. Church members’ attendance and participation brought a joyful energy to the place that was familiar but had been so dearly missed for the past two Easters, which had been held online.
As the congregants raise their voices today, their singing embodied an earnest praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, for the joy of His resurrection and also for His ever-faithful presence through the past two years and more.
The congregational singing at the 8.30am Traditional Worship Service was accompanied by the musical strains from the wind and strings ensemble and the organ. With no restrictions on the number of unmasked performers allowed, the Combined Choir, in their black-and-white outfits, was some 19-strong, and who led the congregational singing with a spirited rendition of the Easter medley.
Pastor-in-Charge Rev Raymond Fong, sending his appreciation to the “worship servants for serving tirelessly every week”, warmly greeted all who came for the service. The easing of the capacity limit restrictions for religious services meant that this was the first time for many to be worshipping on site in a long while.
The Virtual Combined Choir, which included members of all ages, gave a special choral offering of a medley of songs, filling the screen with their collage of their individual colourful backgrounds and beaming their voices into the Sanctuary.
Members of BeTween Hannah Teo and Dylan Koh gave the scripture reading of Luke 24:13-26 in the Sanctuary, with Ariel Yeo and Isaac Lim doing the same for the 11 am Prayer & Praise service in the Wesley Hall.
Bishop Dr Gordon Wong, greeting his centenarian father who attended the Traditional Service, delivered the sermon titled Meeting the Risen Christ with Head, Heart and Hands. Focusing on the discipleship of the Heart, Bishop reminded us that our heart takes heart and is strengthened when our minds are opened to understand the scriptures, which is one reason why it is important to keep coming to church and believing in God.
Even if in this world, we will have trouble (John 16:33), the Good News that Christ died and rose again, assures us that our suffering and death would be followed by new life and resurrection. The gospel that Christ is indeed risen, opens our minds and strengthens our hearts, and directs our hands to bring the hope of Him who has overcome the world, to others.
Ending with the zesty declaration of the Concluding Affirmation and the gusto of the Hallelujah Chorus led by the Virtual Choir, the Easter celebration made it clear that it was hard to beat the experience and joy of worshipping in person, among a community of believers, singing together, in commemorating the most significant event in Christianity.
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Photos by Henry Lim.
Watch Sermon video, read Sermon notes and reflection questions>> Meeting the Risen Christ with Head, Heart & Hands