Archbishop Thomas D Souza and Bishop Paritosh Canning, the heads of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of North India, respectively, conducted special Good Friday services online to address more than a lakh in the city and abroad in this time of lockdown. This year, the churches are shut and the traditional prayers conducted by the respective parish priests during the Holy Week are not being held because of the social-distancing mandate. This gap is being filled by Canning and D Souza. They, however, urged parishioners to conduct the traditional prayers surrounding the “Veneration of the Cross” in their homes, apart from following the liturgies online.
Jesus died on the cross but he accepted it so he could rid humanity of its sins and this act should be our guiding light as we bear one of the biggest sufferings that has come upon mankind now in the form of the corona pandemic — this formed the gist of D Souza’s message. Canning, on the other hand, focu-sed on what the Cross represents and how each of us bears our own.
Both spiritual leaders urged parishioners not to lose focus from their prayers as that will “ultimately bring deliverance”. “We are nailing Jesus everyday by not standing up for truth. We will have to give up pride, betrayal, envy, cruelty and hatred,” Canning advised. He even played the violin while hymns were sung as part of the service.
D Souza asked his audience not to lose hope even though coronavirus has brought with it deathly fears. “Jesus overcame death and suffering and emerged triumphant. In the midst of the pandemic we need to turn towards him,” D Souza said.
Vicar general Dominic Gomes said he was flooded with congratulatory messages from the worshippers as they felt “connected” despite the lockdown. “We could not have gone through the Holy Week if we didn’t have the online services,” wrote in Corina Williams, a parishioner from Ripon Street. Many at Bow Barracks sat on their balconies and prayed along as the online service played on their mobile phones.
Source: Times of India