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Updated: December 26, 2012 08:38 IST

A time for giving, sharing joy

Staff Reporter
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People offering prayers at a church in Bangalore on
Tuesday. Photo: K. Gopinathan
People offering prayers at a church in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: K. Gopinathan

Christmas dawned bright and festive on Bangaloreans as they dressed in their best to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Pandals were set up in churches to accommodate the large influx of believers.

Hudson Memorial Church was filled with people greeting each other Merry Christmas. Lina Moses, who was waiting to get her child blessed by the pastor said: “It is a time of sharing joy and of giving. We have family get together, exchange gifts, prepare various kinds of sweets and mainly give clothes to the poor.”

Rev. Solomon Paul J, assistant pastor at the church, told The Hindu that his family visits orphanages and sick people to pray for them, and also visit grieved families after the morning service.

While elders spoke about the joy of giving and spreading peace, youngsters had different plans all together. Sonia said, “I invite my friends home and then go out for a party. Christmas, for me, is about cutting a huge Christmas cake and drinking wine.”

Biji Verghese, a former lecturer, on her visit to St. Marks Cathedral, said she planned to drop by at different churches through the day. She explained that her family went the whole traditional route on Christmas.

People flocked to smaller churches too. It wasn’t just Christians who visited churches. There were plenty of non-Christians attending morning mass at St. John the Baptist Church in Vijaynagar. Pavithra Nagaraj, a businesswoman, said that the spirit of Christmas was universal.

Bangalore Oniyavara Seva Coota (BOSCO), a non-governmental organisation working with street children, organised a Christmas gathering attended by about 1,000 children at BOSCO Mane. Each child who participated got a gift and everyone sang and danced with Santa Claus.

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