- Special prayers from 11 pm tonight till tomorrow, December 25 morning, at St. Philomena’s Church
- Limited entry of devotees at Churches
Mysuru: Mysuru city is preparing for Christmas as the Government desperately tries to thread the needle between preserving public health and allowing families to gather for traditional celebrations at the end of 2020.
However, Coronavirus-induced night curfew hasn’t dampened the Christmas cheer for many as they feel it is only wise to celebrate the festival with caution. Churches have announced that there will be limited entry of devotees while a few Churches have changed prayer timings. Despite these rules and arrangements, the Christmas spirit is unaffected.
The festival will be celebrated in a traditional manner at the city’s iconic St. Philomena’s Church. Addressing reporters at Bishop’s House yesterday, Mysuru Bishop Most Rev. Dr. K.A. William said that the celebration will be held in the presence of limited devotees where social distancing, wearing of face masks and using sanitisers are mandatory.
Special prayers will be held on Dec. 24 (today) from 11.30 pm till early morning tomorrow. Though there is a capacity for 1,000 devotees inside the Church, only 250 to 300 devotees would be allowed inside and arrangements for 1,000 persons has been made inside the Church compound.
On Dec. 25, prayers will be held every hour from 5 am to 9 am. To facilitate devotees standing outside the Church, large LED screens will be installed. After the first batch of devotees take part in prayers and leave, the second batch will be allowed inside, Bishop William said.
“Small viruses such as envy, selfishness, suspicions and pride and evil inclinations have to be conquered. Christmas is a time to address these and try to re-create a new world, where everyone can once again learn to live like brothers and sisters belonging to one single family,” the Bishop said in his Xmas message.
“I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. May this Christmas 2020 help us go beyond our petty selves and make us broader minded. May it heal all wounds, small and great, both physical, mental, psychological and spiritual. May this Christmas bring joy and peace to the whole world and may God bless every human being,” the Mysuru Bishop wished.
St. Bartholomew’s Church
Mysuru’s oldest Church (adjacent to Sub-Urban Bus Stand) is all set to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way and by following guidelines, said Church’s Presbyter Rev. Daniel Kaundinya.
He said that there will be no midnight service at the Church tonight but Christmas Eve Service will be held at 6.30 pm today. Tomorrow (Dec. 25), the first service will be held at 7 am and the second service at 8.30 am, he said and added that both the services will be Holy Communion Services. Only Church members will be allowed and there will be no entry for outsiders.
In his message, Rev. Daniel said “It seems like a long and anxious wait for the season of Christmas to unfurl into a season exploding with joy, peace and happiness. Though the overshadowing pandemic seemed to dampen the spirit of the celebration of Christ’s coming, the nature was gracious in affirming the greatness of ‘Immanuel’ who faithfully sustained the life of everyone.”
“May this season of Christmas bring joy, peace and happiness into our lives in a very special way. May the season lead us into yet another blessed New Year,” he added.
City Churches decorated
Various Churches across the city such as St. Philomena’s Church, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Wesley Cathedral, Hardwicke Church at Lakshmipuram, Pushpashram at Naidu Nagar and Infant Jesus Church on Hunsur Road among other Churches in city have been specially decorated and illuminated for the occasion.
Many Churches are decorated with colourful LED lights, illuminated stars and cribs placed inside a manger to depict the birth of Jesus Christ.
Many hotels and malls including Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel on M.G. Road and Forum Mall at Nazarbad in city are also decked up for Christmas celebrations. Attractive decorations, colourful LED lights and staff dressed as Santa Claus are attracting people.