Singapore Night Festival participants place candles to form the words ‘Peace & Harmony’ at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. Photo: VITA Images

Thousands flocked to the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and the Church of Sts Peter and Paul on Aug 18 and 19 during the Singapore Night Festival celebration.

At the cathedral, people of different ages, religions and races lit candles for peace. There were also hourly tours for visitors conducted by volunteers from the cathedral’s heritage ministry.

Rector Msgr Philip Heng and Msgr Francis Lau launched the celebrations by lighting the first candle on each day.

Visitors then proceeded to light their own candles and place them on the ground to form the words “Peace & Harmony.”

They also filled the many banners with numerous wishes for peace and harmony.

“We all long for peace in the world. We see that inter-religious harmony and cultural inclusiveness are crucial. In today’s climate of violence, we cannot presume that peace and harmony will always prevail,” Msgr Heng
said.

He felt that the festival at the cathedral could serve as a platform to promote peace and harmony because of how needed it is in the world today.

The first weekend of the festival attracted more than 9,000 visitors to the cathedral.

Visitors looking at various architectural elements in the Church of Sts Peter and Paul.

Over at Sts Peter and Paul Church, there were guided tours around the exterior of the church for the estimated 6,000
visitors.

These tours featured explanations of the facade, statues, Calvary scene and the grotto of the church.

They were managed by the organisers, together with about 150 volunteers from the parish and some students from the
Singapore Management University.

The church also put together a mini-exhibition, showcasing sacred vessels, vestments and some historical artefacts, which allowed viewers to have an appreciation of sacred art.

An introductory video of the parish and videos produced by the archdiocese’s Communications Office which explained the architectural theology of the church were also shown at the mini-exhibition.

The main church building was the centre of attraction. Signages containing commentaries on the symbolisms of the various architectural elements were placed to help visitors understand the meaning behind
them.


A tour led by cathedral volunteer Jevon Liew.

Many visitors were particularly intrigued by the high altar, which was installed during the church’s recent restoration project.

At the end of each night, visitors were also presented with an opportunity to participate in Compline prayers, led by parish priest Fr Edward Lim and the St Peter and Paul choir.

The Night Festival activities are scheduled to continue on Aug 25 and 26 for the cathedral and on Aug 26 for Sts Peter and Paul Church.

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