KUCHING, Apr 3: With Movement Control Order (MCO) travel restriction and social distancing, Associated Churches in Sarawak (ACS) chairman Archbishop Simon Poh calls on all Christian Churches in Sarawak to seek God’s intercession, pray and worship the Lord in their respective homes during the Holy Week.
“We shall journey through Holy Week together with Jesus, starting on Palm Sunday.
“Let us remain faithful and be willing to make sacrifice to stand at the foot of the Cross on Good Friday when Jesus took the burden of suffering, sickness, diseases and sins of humanity upon himself.
“On Easter Vigil night, we will pray and wait at the tomb for Jesus’ resurrection. On Easter Sunday, when he rose from the dead, may the Risen Lord offer new life and hope in the face of challenges caused by Covid-19,” said Poh in a statement today.
During these days of MCO coinciding with the Christians’ Holy Week, Poh said as Christians and responsible citizens, all Christians should take seriously their moral duty and spiritual commitment before God and society.
“Let us stay at home, practise social distancing, with proper hygiene precaution and hand washing.
“Confronted with Covid-19, I pray that this whole Holy Week of prayer will bring healing and life to our land, our nation Malaysian and all countries throughout the world,” said Poh.
He said churches are planning to live streaming for masses and services for Holy Week (April 5 to 12), starting on Palm Sunday (April 5), Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper (April 9) , Good Friday (April 10) , Saturday Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday (April 11 to 12).
“For the Catholics, I am indeed grateful to Pope Francis for taking the leadership by guidelines on Mar 20, 2020 to prepare for the possibility of celebration of Holy Week without the presence of the faithful in Church.
“This has helped to prepare church leaders to live-stream the Holy Week Masses and Services to the family homes.
“I am also aware that many kampungs (villages) and longhouses have weak internet connection which will be insufficient for live-viewing.
“In response, many churches have also prepared e-copies of prayer or podcast.
“These can be downloaded over slower internet connection and can be use during Holy Week.
“Above all, my heart goes out to those in the interior where internet signal is almost non-existent. With MCO travel restriction in place, we are unable to travel nor send them printed materials,” said Poh who is also Catholic Archbishop of Kuching.
He expressed appreciation that over the last few years, churches have also translated and provided Holy Week prayer books as well as distributed printed bibles and audible bibles to these Christian communities in the interior.
“Our hearts are with our Christians in the interior who do not have internet access. They are the beloved children loved by our Lord.
“We should specially keep in our hearts these Christians in the remote interior during this difficult time. I pray that as they read and celebrate the Word of God in their families, they will be greatly encouraged to know that they are not alone. — DayakDaily