Mumbai: In a first, St Peter’s Church in Bandra displayed its collection of century-old statues of Jesus Christ and 12 apostles at the Last Supper from Maundy Thursday and it will be on display until Easter Sunday. Run by the Jesuits, a Roman Catholic order, the church had received the statues along with two other idols of Christ, one of which is a crucifixion effigy, as a gift from Germany in 1904, is a Good Friday attraction.
“To commemorate 45 days of Lent, we use these statues in different forms to tell stories related to Jesus Christ every Sunday. But, once the celebration is over, these statues have to be preserved well so that they aren’t damaged,” said Paul Fishery, prefect, St Peter’s Church Confraternity. Good Friday observance brings an end to the 40-day penance of Lent. Christians mourn this as the day Jesus Christ was crucified.
Mumbai also witnessed live enactments of the Stations of the Cross, procession of Jesus Christ’s martyrdom, across several Catholic enclaves like Santacruz, Kurla, Vasai and Thane. Father Hubert, parish priest of St Francis Xavier Church, Vikroli, laughs and says he will celebrate Easter mass with a song from a popular Amitabh Bachchan-Dharmendra-starrer Hindi film Ram Balram. “There is a song in the film called ‘Humse bhool ho gayi, hamka maafi de do’? My theme for Easter is forgive and forget, so it fits well,” he chuckles.
Father emphasised on how the best way to spread the message of Christ’s sacrifice is to use humour and music to draw and retain attention. The city also saw a new statue arriving in the city. A statue of crucified Christ was fixed on a Cross in Orlem tom commemorate the occasion. “The importance of the Cross is that it was previously demolished by the civic body but the locals reinstalled it some days back. This is also Resurrection in a way,” said Father Gilbert D’Lima, parish priest.