Millions all over the world celebrate the Lunar New Year for a total of 15 days.
For Christians, this season of spring ushers in a new year filled with joyful hope from our Lord.
As we welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year, we give praise to God our Father from whom all blessings flow.
A way we celebrate this heralding of spring as Catholics:
- We attend the Eucharistic Celebrations the day before or the morning of the first day (sometimes the second) to give thanks to God for the many blessings that we have received, his Graces, and His protection, and celebrate the Lunar New Year with a grateful heart.
Starting the New Year at Eucharistic Celebrations on the morning of the first day to give thanks to God our father with a grateful heart
Let us start this Lunar New Year with thanking God our Father for our Parish Priests whose fervour and faith inspires us. We are also grateful for the many lay volunteers who so generously give their time in building the kingdom of God especially in our our parish
Chinese New Year Day 1
Our Lord has also inspired us in the planning and execution of the renovations. He has blessed us with the people who are good Stewarts of financial planning – we are thus able to have a nicely renovated church with so many thoughtful additions. Because of this, we can now benefit while going about the church- a ramp and a lift for people who may find it easier in the coming and going instead of using the stairs.
The new sticker of our church logo makes the church and lift doors look so cool! The sticker also helps to protect the lift doors and make them last longer.
The church compounds and environment is considerate of every one in different situations – it allows one with a stroller, a wheelchair or on clutches to move in and around the church with no challenges. There are even details to make our advance up the ramp lovely!
Have you noticed our church seems greener these days? The beautiful plants have naturally enhanced our air quality and made it cooler too. Stop and check out how this one has grown!
With a water dispenser, we can fill our bottles before we head off on our journeys after the Eucharistic Celebrations. We have heard YOUR feedback: many people would like to be able to refill our tumblers while at church, especially when we attend events or classes at church. Remember to bring your bottle the next time
Thank you Lord, we are thankful for all that we have in our parish!
The Lunar New Year is an occasion for family celebrations but because of the COVID-19 pandemic we may only be able to celebrate it with a selected few of our love ones this year.
However, it is up to us to respond to the situation in ways that are filled with rejoicing and for us to make the most out of the situation and work with what is possible. The greatest legacy we can leave is happy memories.
May our hearts be filled with the riches from Christ our Lord!
Family is the nucleus and the heritage of Asian spirituality and culture.
Our families are God’s gift to us. The vocation of the family is a call to communion, to share in the love and life of God. In the family we learn to live and belong to each other despite our differences.
Sometimes, the Lunar New Year can feel oddly like a yearly corporate appraisal where we gather and give a full accounting of our “performance” during the year to a group of well-meaning relatives. A round table discussion could entail some very personal issues such as your career, body type, love life, fertility, and family planning (or even why it is not possible). While other such topics could include “excesses” that define success – such as those that can be seen in what a person is seen with, watches, bags, cars, properties or material goods owned.
As disciples of Christ, let us remind ourselves that the Chinese traditional definition of what a “good life” do not define us who are Heirs of the Kingdom of God, but that the real riches and successes lie in the treasures of love, hope, joy and peace. This cultural occasion can be very stressful for many who are on any part of the spectrum of the receiving end. Let us remind ourselves to be more sensitive to each other, and to encounter each other with charity.
And if we are ever on the receiving end, let us “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”- Colossians 3:13
The pursuit of Spiritual wealth is more important than material wealth, which is often emphasised in traditional celebrations
We pray for all families to journey together as one, especially families in our parish, treating one another with kindness and tenderness.
“May we never tire in loving one another with brotherly affection and honouring another above yourselves” (Rom 12:10).
Light of the People
Let us instead be the “Light of the People”
Baptism of the Lord was on Chinese New Year Day 2
The blessing of candles on the feast of Baptism of our Lord is closely related to the Gospel narrative, introducing Jesus as the “Light of the people” (Lk. 2, 32)
Although due to covid -19 restrictions we did not manage to light the candles. The burning candle symbolises the abiding presence of Jesus Christ in the midst of the Christian community as He, Himself, had promised :“Where two or three are gathered in My Name, there I am in their midst.” (Mt. 18, 20)
The flame from the lit candle (not lit this time around due to the covid-19 restrictions), reminds us that our prayers should come from a heart burning with love of God.
Blessing of the candles on Chinese New Year Day 2
These few days together can be a time to create special moments together. Small moments in time, creating moments that last a lifetime.
Let us continue our Lunar New Year in thanksgiving as we ask our Lord to intercede for our families and especially for those may be alone.
May they and we enjoy all the blessings of the Lunar New Year from our Lord.
Written By: Julianne Danielle Lim
Photos contributed by: Raymond Quah