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Special services mark Christmas

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Festive mood: Christians seeing the crib in front of St. Mary’s Basilica in Shivajinagar on Friday.
Festive mood: Christians seeing the crib in front of St. Mary’s Basilica in Shivajinagar on Friday.

Staff Reporter

Bhardwaj becomes the first Governor to visit St. Mark’s Cathedral for mass

BANGALORE: St. Mark’s Cathedral here made a bit of history when Governor H.R. Bhardwaj attended the Christmas mass on Friday morning.

On a day that was marked by songs, prayers and Bible readings across the city as Christians celebrated Christmas with pomp and gaiety, Mr. Bhardwaj became the first Governor of the State to visit St. Mark’s Cathedral for a Christmas mass. The cathedral was a popular destination for British governors and residents prior to Independence. “The message that Christmas spreads is relevant in the current context. It conveys universal peace, brotherhood and love,” the Governor said in his address.

Recalling his association with the Christian missionary in his native Rohtak district in Haryana, he said: “After I lost my father, the missionary helped me and my family. I have been celebrating Christmas since my childhood. Jesus values compassion, peace and love,” Mr. Bhardwaj added. Bishop of the Church of South India S. Vasantha Kumar, who administered the worship service, said: “Christmas signifies the incarnation of god. When god takes the form of a human, we must respond appropriately to it. This enables the beginning of the peace process. We can respond to god by seeing him in one another and by working for the well being of others.” Retired High Court judge and Chairman of Transparency International (Karnataka chapter) M.F. Saldanha, vice-chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities H.T. Sangliana and environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna were present.

Celebrations

A large number of Christians across the city celebrated Christmas on Friday. Special services and mass were organised.

St. Mary’s Basilica, Hudson Memorial Church, St. Andrew’s Church and St. Patrick’s Church were decked up for the occasion.

For Mamtha Grace S. of Kammanahalli, celebrations started just before midnight on Thursday and continued on Friday as she hosted lunch for friends and relatives.

“We cut the cake and distributed it among our neighbours and friends,” she said.

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