Wednesday, June 16

Kolkata: Sermons to focus on poor and minorities this year

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As worshippers head to churches on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning for Christmas prayers, sermons everywhere will narrate the birth of Christ but in the context of current issues and stress on peace, joy and safety of the ‘poor and minorities’.

“Many devotees will come with hope for a peaceful year ahead, others will pray for an end to conflicts around the world and there will be many seeking freedom from poverty and misery. As preachers, it is our responsibility to guide them on the path of the Lord that will lead to salvation,” said Rev Biswajit Biswas of Duff Church in North Kolkata.

At Auxilium Parish Church in Tangra, Father John Chalil will pray for peace and joy for all. There will be a mass at 9pm on Tuesday in English and mass in Hindi and Bengali at 11.30pm. The Christmas prayer service on Wednesday will start at 7am. “I shall speak on the teachings of Christ, which are relevant even today. There is so much sorrow and misery around us. The Lord said we must extend a helping hand to those who need hope and help,” Chalil said.

The midnight mass at St Paul’s Cathedral is attended by thousands from around the state — many of whom are non-Christians. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee drops in to attend the mass too. “On Christmas, we shall have carols at night, which are very popular with the members of our cathedral.,” said Reverend Abir Adhikari.

Churches in Kolkata have been decked up with lights. The interiors have been decorated with Nativity cribs and Christmas trees. Father Swarup Bar of St Andrew’s Church said it was the responsibility of the empowered to help the less privileged. “The sermons will urge people to think about Christmas from the perspective of the poor. It is our responsibility to reach out to them,” he said.


Source: Times of India

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