The sound of melodious carols ring through the air, signalling that it is Christmas. With Pope Francis, the supreme leader of Christian community being declared as ‘Man of the Year’ by Time magazine, Christians around the world have an added reason to rejoice.
Since Tuesday evening, churches in the city were filled with devotees, attending prayer masses and readying themselves for the festival feast.
For Ashok Saldanha, a resident of the city, Christmas is the most awaited festival. “Since I was a kid, I eagerly awaited Christmas. Following mass at the Church, the whole family will gather together for two days. The festival has helped our family bond better,” he said, adding that several differences among family members are ironed out during the festive season.
Renowned churches of Mysore, St Philomena’s Church, Hardwicke Church and Wesley Cathedral, along with other churches in the city witnessed members of Christian community participating in prayer sessions. Midnight masses were held, to mark the birth of Jesus, on Tuesday.
Earlier during the day, however, markets in the city were flooded with people buying vegetables, meat, cakes and other items, in order to prepare for Christmas.
Shopping outlets in the city too had decked themselves with Christmas decorations, notably the famous Santa Claus hat. Gift shops too made brisk business, as people exchange gifts during the festival.
With yummy cakes and other sweets being an integral part of the most famous festival of the Christian community, bakers were busy, meeting the demands of the celebrating Christian fraternity.
Many houses of the community in the city were seen adorned with illuminated stars and Christmas trees. Few families had readied the tree, complete with decorations, days in advance, heralding the festival season.
Naveen Menzes said that preparations at his home had begun since the first week of December.
“Since, Christmas is a special festival, we never leave anything for the last moment,” he said.
Bishop of Mysore, Thomas Antony Vazhapilly will lead the midnight mass, being held at St Philomena’s Church at 12 midnight. Five prayer sessions will be held at the Church on Wednesday.
Similarly, prayer sessions are being held in both Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in the city.
Vazhapilly, in his Christmas message, said, "God dwells in our hearts and brings about transformation in the society, by helping the faithful develop the qualities of humility, simplicity, sincerity and honesty".