Good Friday, which for believers marks the day Jesus Christ was crucified, has been commemorated in a very visible way on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Church for more than a century. Conducted very much in the fashion of the Iberian peninsula, the elaborate procession takes place at the end of the church’s Good Friday service during which the crucifixion is reenacted using a life-sized image of Christ that is lowered and placed on a bier for the procession.
The church, known also as the Portuguese Church due to its origin in the Portuguese Mission and it having been a parish of the Diocese of Macau until 1981, is the spiritual home of the Portuguese Eurasian community. The community is one of the oldest migrant linked communities in the region. It is on Good Friday, when the religious traditions of the community are most visible, that we are perhaps reminded of this. The procession, the holding of which goes back more than a century, attracts large numbers of worshippers from all across Singapore and at its height in the 1960s and 1970s, saw thousands packed into the church’s compound with many more spilling onto Queen Street.
More on the procession and the Portuguese Church:
- Good Friday at a slice of Portugal in Singapore
- The flicker of tradition
- A sea of candlelight
- A one hundred year old beauty
- A look into the Portuguese Church’s beautiful Parochial House