Sunday, June 20

Kolkata celebrates Easter, prays for resurrection of better times

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Not all is lost, the best is yet to come. This was the refrain that one heard in the Easter prayers across city churches from the early hours of Sunday as parishioners turned up for Easter services. On Easter Sunday, the third day after Jesus was crucified, it is believed that he rose from the tomb in resurrection.
Christians across denominations in the city celebrated Easter as the most important day of the calendar, keeping a fast till they attended mass and then breaking bread. In the evening, they walked in a rally under the banner of United Christians of Kolkata, which saw many priests leading from the front. The rally started from Bishop’s College near Beckbagan and ended at St James Church.
Bishop Paritosh Canning spoke first at 4.30am at the Church of Epiphany at Thakurpukur and then again at 8.30am at St Paul’s Cathedral. His message was one of hope and rejuvenation. “Not everything is finished, though things may look dismal at the moment. The Lord has risen in the midst of this darkness and that is the biggest sign of hope that the best is yet to come,” he said at both the churches.

Archbishop Thomas D Souza held a private prayer on Easter Sunday while vicar general Dominic Gomes read mass at St Thomas Church, Middleton Row.

“Jesus is alive, he has risen…what more can we ask for? We just need to be steadfast in our faith and the worst will pass,” the vicar general said. Easter stands for new life and this can be seen in nature too, since it is spring time.

Most churches held several sessions of services spread over different parts of the premises to avoid large gatherings. Christ the King Church at Park Circus held three morning masses, Sacred Heart Church, Dharamtala, St Mary’s Church Ripon Street, St Joseph’s Chapel, St Anthony’s Shrine and Church of Our Lady of Vailankanni held multiple morning services as well. No evening masses were held because of the rally. After the rally converged at St James Church, archbishop Thomas D Souza spoke about the uncertainties of the present times and how the responsibility of keeping peace lies with everyone. He prayed that the elections be fair and peaceful.

Among the other religious leaders were Reverend Abir Adhikari, priest of St Paul’s Cathedral, Ivan Satyavrata, senior pastor of Assembly of God Church, and Sudip Biswas, president of the Bengal Baptist Union. Adhikari spoke on behalf of Bishop Canning, who led a similar rally from Thakurpukur to the Oxford Mission grounds in Behala.

Popular bakeries in the city were filled with goodies, like Easter eggs, marzipan Easter eggs, nougat Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter baskets and special Easter breads.

“The items were sold out and we did much better than we had expected. Last year was so depressing when people were scared to place orders and come out of homes. There has been a 100% growth in business this time. We have not only had people coming to the store, but have also developed a delivery chain in this past year. This helped us a lot in the business,” said Debra Saldanha Alexandar, owner of Saldanha’s.

“It was such a relief to once again pray in church for Easter, meet and greet each other, albeit from a distance. Last year, we were in a state of shock as the lockdown was clamped on the country. This year is once again a proof of the fact that the Lord is taking care of us,” said Terence Ireland, an educator.

Source: Times of India

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