Covd-19: A church in Coimbatore goes online for the Holy Week

CSI All Souls Church, Race Course, Coimbatore, goes online to that its faithful do not miss Easter services due to the lockdown

April 10, 2020 03:34 pm | Updated 03:34 pm IST - Coimbatore

CSI All Souls Church

CSI All Souls Church

This is the holy week, and usually, I would be back home in Muvattupuzha attending church services. The Masses would be longer, there would be processions, multiple sermons and special prayers and hymns. Things are very different this year, with the 21-day national lockdown. Many churches have suspended their services. But a few, like the CSI All Souls Church, Race Course, Coimbatore, continue to reach out to the faithful. “I spoke to many elders and from what I understood this is the first time that the community is going through such a crisis. This is the week of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. Since people cannot come to church, we decided to live-stream the Mass. Our first video was taken on March 29,” says Rev N Charles Samraj, Presbyter and Chairman of the church.

The initial days of the lockdown were difficult, admits the Reverend. “I am used to conducting the mass for nearly 1,200 people. But, now, it is just me and my assistant in the church. It still feels strange to speak to an empty church,” he says.

Rev N Charles Samraj

Rev N Charles Samraj

The mass is recorded on a phone camera. “We go live at 6:30 pm every day. Each video has had over 2000 views. One good thing is that now people from around the country can be a part of the service,” he says. The church has also made changes to the mass to suit the current situation. “I omitted the procession on Palm Sunday and the practice of washing the feet on Maundy Thursday. For Communion, I will wear a pair of gloves to give it to my assistant,” he says.

Desaraj Sargunam, a member of the church, has not missed any of the online services. “The sound quality of the initial videos was bad. I alerted the church and they fixed it. I enjoy this service at my home as much as I do so at church,” he says.

Smitha Tom watched the online Mass of the Lord’s Supper at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican by Pope Francis. She says that this is the first time in her life that she has not gone to her church during the Holy Week. “I was ready with a Bible and cross on my table. I watched it on my phone in my room. I felt there was something missing in the online Masses,” she says. “ I realised that I feel more at peace when I pray in a crowd and hear the voices of other people singing with me. I also miss the scent of frankincense and sitting in the church for a silent prayer after the mass,” she says. “But of course, this is better than nothing.”

For Thomas Joseph, another churchgoer who attends Mass online, it is a new experience too. “I still prefer to be there at the church physically but, in this situation, this is the best option available,” he says. Sofy Mathew says that it is difficult for her not to go to church. “Now, I spend more time in personal prayers. I also watch the Mass online. I enjoy it, but it cannot be compared with the one attended in a church. I feel that I am a part of the service there. I don’t quite feel that online,” she says

I feel like Sofy does. I know this Easter is going to be different. I do not expect it to be like it was when I visited church back home with friends and family. I am locked down here and my family is elsewhere. But, this will do for now. I pray Easter next year will see me at the church again with my loved ones.

The Resurrection Mass will be live at 8:00 am on March 12 on All Soul’s Church Facebook page

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.