FAQ: Christian Practices
- How should we understand the gift of tongues? Answer
- What is prophecy? And how can we discern if it's from God? Answer
- Why do some Christians make the sign of the cross before or after prayer? Answer
- What is the Christian calendar? Answer
- When is Holy Week in the Christian calendar? Answer
Q: How should we understand the gift of tongues?
A: The following helpful information comes from the Methodist Message.
Q: What is prophecy? And how can we discern if it's from God?
A: The following information comes from the Methodist Message, and may be beneficial in answering this question.
Q: Why do some Christians make the sign of the cross before or after prayer?
A: See the linked Methodist Message, which offers some answers.
Q: What is the Christian calendar?
A: The following helpful information comes from the book, The People Called Methodists: The Heritage, Life and Mission of The Methodist Church in Singapore.
Christians have organised time in light of the events of Christ's life and ministry so that they might pattern their lives after their Lord. Christianity is no mere intellectual exercise, but the power of transformation. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds" (Romans 12.2). "Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). Thus, the church year is a tool and pattern for Christian discipleship, a means for moral and faith formation. In a region where diverse religious traditions are practiced openly, it is important that Christians also witness their faith through visible activities. While the ordering of the Christian year is not sacrosanct, its observation is one way of giving witness to our Lord and growing in our discipleship.
Q: When is Holy Week in the Christian calendar?
A: Holy Week starts from Palm Sunday, and ends on Holy Saturday.
Christians first celebrated the resurrection of Christ before the observances from Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday were added. This seven day long observance eventually became the Holy Week that we know today.
The period from Good Friday to Easter Sunday is called the Easter Triduum (three days), where usually 'The Great Silence' is observed. This ends with the Easter Vigil.
Easter Sunday starts the Great Fifty Days, marking the time of the risen Lord with his disciples prior to the Ascension and outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Easter -- the resurrection -- looks forward to what is coming, not backward to what happened. It reminds us to look forward to His Second Coming, as well.