Devotees throng churches to celebrate Christmas

Christmas spirit eclipses threat of Covid

Eyetalk

December 25, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

Even as various state governments responded to growing spread of Omicron variant of Covid-19 with night curfews and control on gatherings, Christians were again forced to observe the Christmas mainly indoors at their homes, though many did turn up to light candles outside closed churches and cathedrals. In New Delhi, the centre of attention was the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Connaught Place.

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The entire world takes some time off this time of the year. On December 25, people with their family and friends meet and celebrate the joyous birth of Lord Jesus by sharing laughs, cakes and cookies. Christmas also commemorates the spirit of giving, affection and encourages harmony among one another.

People throw parties and decorate Christmas trees with lights, different decorations and the of course the star of Bethlehem on top of the tree. Children put out their socks and keep cookies and milk for the Jolly Old Saint Nick or Santa Claus travelling all the way from the North Pole, bringing gifts for them.

Churches all over the world also host midnight masses singing carols and celebrating the birth of Jesus, the saviour of mankind. This year, however, the pandemic still on its foot impacted this joyous occasion.

In Delhi, the Sacred Heart Cathedral is one of the biggest and most famous churches. Every year, it attracts thousands of devotees for the Midnight Mass, with recitations of Christmas Carols and various hymns and verses from the Bible.

The Cathedral was built between 1930-35 and to this day continues to draw devotees and visitors on pagan holidays. The church every year is decorated with a tall Christmas tree and illuminations which lights up the premises enchanting the onlooker. The celebrations on Christmas Eve start early in the evening and continue beyond midnight. The Cathedral was beautifully decorated with lights making it the centre of attraction.

However, in the view of the pandemic, especially the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 restrictions were imposed on the gathering. To prevent overcrowding in the church the management in coordination with the authorities decided to close doors for the common visitors. Delhi police had set up barricades and had deployed personnel to disperse the crowd reaching the church.

Despite the provisions in place to prevent overcrowding people were able to light candles in front of Jesus’s idol and pay respect to God’s only child who bore the pain for humankind. People celebrated the world’s largest spiritual occasion with their whole heart and spirit, proving that even the trying times of Covid-19 cannot suppress the love and devotion of the people for Jesus.

 

(Text: Abhishek Bhuniya)

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