Mysuru: Despite biting cold, thousands of Christians thronged several churches in city to attend the midnight mass yesterday heralding Christmas celebrations. People were seen offering prayers, lighting candles and wishing one another to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with pomp and gaiety. Mass prayers were conducted by the priests.
The centre of attraction was the St. Philomena’s Church where a large number of people arrived to witness the celebrations. Church members and the choir sang Christmas carols and hymns as part of Christmas Eve celebrations from 11 pm.
At the stroke of midnight, the chime of the church bells filled the air as the Bishop of Mysore Diocese Rev. Dr. K.A. William placed the idol of Infant Jesus in the crib, which was specially prepared within the church premises. He, along with other priests, marched in a procession as they carried the Infant Jesus from the Church and placed it in the crib.
Sermons and prayers during the midnight mass (in Kannada) at St. Philomena’s Church were conducted by Bishop Rev. Dr. K.A. William. Unlike last year, the Mass was conducted inside the church. The midnight mass continued till 1.30 am.
Speaking on the occasion, Rev. Dr. K.A. William said, “The birth of Jesus is one of the important dates in human history as the eras are also termed with reference to his birth — Before Christ (BC) and AD (Anno Domini). As mere humans, we have so much love and affection towards our children. Imagine the sacrifice of God who sent his only son to earth.”
He added that Christmas was a celebration of love and peace.
He said, “If you want to celebrate Christmas, you should have love and must not be self-centred only then will you be a true devotee of Christ and will this celebration be meaningful. Love your enemies, love everyone and ensure your actions also exhibit love.”
“Christmas celebration comes once a year, and this is God providing us opportunity and giving us another chance to remember his love towards us, so that we melt the heart of stone and transform it into a tender soft one and distribute love in every possible way,” he added.
The Bishop conveyed his Christmas wishes and prayed for worldly peace and prosperity. Rev. Fr. N.T. Joseph, Parish Priest, St. Philomena’s Church and other priests were also present.
Irrespective of the religion, people from various walks of life joined in to witness the grand celebration at the church.
The Crib and the special ship on which a model of Santa Claus was displayed attracted everyone’s attention. Masses in several languages are being held throughout the day.