The spirit of bonhomie

Binding Faith

The spirit of bonhomie

The countdown to Christmas has begun and the sense of togetherness, warmth and love is palpable in the air. Touched by the infectious bonhomie, even strangers are wishing each other ‘Merry Christmas’, not to speak of people generously exchanging goodies and gifting their loved ones.

Most churches across the City have been decorated, complete with the crib, lights and the Christmas tree. There will be a midnight mass at all the churches, while prominent churches, such as Infant Jesus Shrine, St Mary’s Shrine Basilica, Francis Xavier Cathedral, St Mark’s Cathedral and Trinity Church, have two to three masses on Christmas Day.

Fr P Arockia Doss, administrator of Infant Jesus Shrine, says on Christmas Day, the church is packed with not only Christians but non-Christians as well. “We expect more than one-and-a-half lakh people on Christmas day and what is heartening is that a large number of them are non-Christians. They come to view the crib. This is the feast for all mankind, irrespective of caste, creed and religion,” he says.

The St Mark’s Cathedral is going by the theme of ‘Bethlehem’ — past and present, this year. The decorations in the church, tree and the crib will be centered around ‘Bethlehem’. Rev Prem Mitra, presbyter, St Mark’s Cathedral says, “‘Bethlehem’ has almost disappeared now so we intend to bring back memories of the place where baby Jesus was born. We have collected a lot of pictures of ‘Bethlehem’ as it was back then and now. We will juxtapose the two,” he explains.        

Another church in the City that attracts nothing less than two to three lakh people on December 24 and 25 is St Mary’s Shrine Basilica in Shivajinagar. Fr John Rose, rector-cum-parish priest of the church says that special arrangements have been made to control the crowd and space has been created to accommodate more than two lakh people.

“We see people of all faiths coming in on Christmas. What is important is the spirit within as this is the season when good triumphs over evil,” he reasons.   
 Mass Timings : St Mark’s Cathedral:
December 24: 1.30 pm (midnight mass)
December 25: 8.30 am and 10.30 am.

St Mary’s Shrine Basilica

December 24: 8 pm (Mass in English), 10 pm (Mass in Kannada), 12 midnight (Mass in Tamil)
December 25: 6 am (Mass in English), 7 am (Mass in Tamil), 8 am (Mass in Tamil), 9.15 am (Mass in Kannada), 11 am (Mass in Tamil)
 
Infant Jesus Shrine

December 24: 7 pm (English), 7.30 pm (Christmas Mass), 9.30 pm (Kannada) 11.30 pm (Tamil)
December 25: 5.45 am (Tamil), 7 am (English), 8.30 am (Tamil), 10 am (Kannada), 11.15 (Tamil).

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