Hyderabad: Christmas Turns Out a Day for Prayers, Family Time

Hyderabad: Hyderabad, on Monday, soaked in the Christmas celebrations from the stroke of midnight, welcoming the festival by singing hymns and attending midnight masses.

Vigil services that started at 4 am also saw many faithful in attendance, while all public places were filled with people on the day.

The Midnight Mass at St Mary’s Basilica in Secunderabad was presided over by Cardinal Poola Anthony, wherein he delivered a sermon on ‘God loving humanity’, wished the congregation good health and prosperity, and also spoke about the purpose of Jesus Christ’s actions.

Victor Emmanuel, procurator and chancellor of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad, said, “All churches held midnight mass, followed by special masses throughout the day. Hundreds of people, irrespective of religion, attended the masses. This indicates that the nation is in communal harmony.”

Resident Bishop of Hyderabad Regional Conference M.A. Daniel also addressed a congregation on the day. “Jesus is the saviour of this world… this historical event took place in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. His life and sacrifice were the main instruments for man’s salvation.”

The Christadelphian Church at Kismatpur also held full-fledged Christmas celebrations throughout the day. Sarah Galbraith, who oversaw the celebrations, said the congregation was involved in various events. “Children were in a gala mood to make this day the most. The preaching was on the first born during the Christ’s birth,” Galbraith said.

Rev. Ashok Sawlikar, who preached at the Marathi congregation of Centenary Methodist Church, explained the verses from the first John, fourth chapter, where Jesus talks to his disciples. “No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us,” he said.

Families, whose members came down from other countries to celebrate the day, ensured a relaxing festival for them to spend time together.

Chitti Rahul Praney, who was visiting Hyderabad from Canada, said, “We wanted to have a relaxed Christmas. After the church visit, we opted for Christmas brunch with a big spread and a turkey. Usually, women take lot of effort in cooking a nice meal, but I wanted to give my mother a break.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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