Mumbai ushers in Christmas with faith

Friday, December 24, 2010

MUMBAI - Thousands of worshippers gathered in gaily decorated churches across Mumbai at midnight Friday to usher in Christmas.

Churches across the city wore a welcoming look, decorated with stars and fairy lights. The Archbishop of Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias conducted the midnight mass at the Holy Name Cathedral in Colaba in south Mumbai.

Some churches started their mass as early as 8.30 p.m., and some took the liberty to start it after 10 p.m. in order to conduct the mass by midnight due to restriction on loud speakers.

Youth and children of St Michael’s Church in Mahim started the mass with the singing of carols. A special tableau showing the life of Jesus through the eyes of Mary was also presented followed by the mass.

The Gloria Church in Byculla in south Mumbai also had carol singing followed by the midnight mass. Three special services will be organised on the morning of Christmas.

The Don Bosco Church in Matunga in south central Mumbai had a lively choir singing and thousands flocked to usher in Christmas with gaiety.

“I have been coming here since I was a child. Although I no longer live in this area, I make it a point to attend the midnight miss here,” said Daniel Fernandes, a worshipper.

The over 400-year-old Our Lady of Egypt Church in suburban Santacruz was all decked up to welcome nearly 4,000 worshippers for the midnight mass.

“We generally make arrangements for most of the worshippers to sit during the mass. But there are several others who prefer standing and hence we see a packed ground every year,” said Loy Dias from the church.

Said to be one of the oldest church in Mumbai The Lady of Immaculate Conception Church in suburban Borivli saw whopping 12,000 worshippers this year. The mass here finished by 10 p.m.

“With the ban on loudspeakers, the mass no longer starts at midnight. But I found it a very comfortable time as I will be home sooner and can wake up afresh on the Christmas day,” said 62-year-old Rocky Sequeira, a regular parishioner of the church.

Short readings were undertaken in Konkani and Marathi with hyms sung by the parishioners along with the priests present on the dias.

Filed under: Religion

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