Mumbai’s Christians observe Lent in more contemporary ways for a fruitful Easter

FPJ BureauUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 11:05 PM IST
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Mumbai: While Mumbaikars are known to celebrate each festival with great gusto, Christians and Catholic communities are known to enjoy the festival in best way possible.

The city saw various trendy versions of Lent, Maundy and Good Friday this year and has set a perfect platform for a solid Easter Sunday. Christians tend to forgo their favourite temptations during these 40 days, and this year, several youngsters chose to avoid spending too much time on social media.

“Although I don’t mean to be religious, I stay away from social media or technology in general for Lent. It is not only for religious reasons, but it will also test my resilience to stay away from it. Technology should not take control over a person, so I am having a digital detox,” said Elria Fernandes, a Malad resident and a teacher in St Xavier’s College.

In another inspiring move, the Jesuit priests of St Peter’s Church, Bandra, have been urging parishioners to consider shroud burials and forgo the use of coffins as part of their Lenten duties.

The church website says, “Lent is a good time for all of us to contemplate on a change in our choices. One such choice that the parish is encouraging is to opt for ‘shroud burial’ as an ecological measure and a sign of simplicity and humility. Please discuss this in your families and take a common decision. All Jesuit priests in Mumbai have pledged this already.”

Also read: Happy Easter 2018: Why Easter date changes every year unlike Christmas

The same church, for the first time, also 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.

Holy Week observances began at Palm Sunday March 25. Easter Sunday will be celebrated April 1. Easter is the most significant festival on the Christian calendar, even more than Christmas, for the belief in resurrection is the pillar of the faith. Another integral part to Lent observances is its music. A Gospel Band will also be performing a Lenten concert tour titled ‘The Last Words’ at 11 parishes across as many locations of the city until Sunday. Music brings back people to life, and that is what Easter is all about anyway.

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