As the first song, “Sing Praises All Your Peoples” rang through the Cathedral, our voices lifted as one to praise and honour God. This prepared us for the subsequent prayer chants which was based on the theme, Be Content With What You Have. The simple songs which comprised a repetition of phrases in English, Mandarin and Bahasa Malay (accompanied with English translations) brought home the message of God’s love and mercy.
I realised that at the heart of it all lies the longing for a communion with God who loves us unconditionally and this cuts across all Christian denominations. The most significant learning point was that no matter what lines of differences exist in the Christian community, we are alike in our pursuit for an affirmative peace and joy which can only be found in a deeper relationship with God.
During the evening, the Taize songs continually reinforced the messages of the universality of our search for peace. Taize music is a distinctive form of meditative music which is based on the repetition of phrases in harmonised sequences, and they are usually lines from the Scripture.
This style of Christian worship is practised by the ecumenical Taizé community in France, and the songs are often in various languages, interspersed with readings, prayers, and periods of silence.
Pastor Sarah Ang from the Queenstown Lutheran Church noted that we are all “part of the body of Christ”. For Ms Genevieve Goh, a Lay Minister at the Covenant Community Methodist Church, she was most personally touched by the song “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God”. To her, it was a reminder that the differences and divisions are unimportant and that the “message of Christ is universal” and what ultimately mattered.
The evening’s prayers and reflection led Mr Png Eng Keat, from True-Way Presbyterian Church expressed the hope for “further dialogue between the different denominations”.
This event, organised by the Archdiocesan Catholic Council for Ecumenical Dialogue, was held on Aug 1 from 7.45pm-9.30pm and attended by some 300 participants.