Mumbai: Christians Prepare For Holy Week Culmination With Maundy Thursday And Easter Services

Mumbai: Christians Prepare For Holy Week Culmination With Maundy Thursday And Easter Services

At St John the Evangelist Church, Colaba, a Protestant church also known as the Afghan Church, the Friday service, which will start at noon

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, March 28, 2024, 10:19 PM IST
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The 40-day period of Lent, which Christians spend in prayers, austerity, and acts of abstinence, ends on Maundy Thursday, the fifth day of the holy week that began with Palm Sunday on March 24 and ends with Easter Sunday on March 31.

While Lent is a period for prayers, this week is special for the faithful because it comes at the end of the Lenten period, said Pramila Lewis, a member of Holy Family Church, Andheri, for whom Lent is a period of introspection.

“It is the time when you get the opportunity to look into your life and find areas where you want to change. Of course, you can do this anytime, but the Lenten period gives a lot of opportunities. There are various services at the church, like the stations of the cross. The messages that come out from the church take you in that direction,” said Lewis.

Observing Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

The main religious services of the week start on Thursday when Christians celebrate Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. Churches have a ‘holy hour’ on the night to commemorate the gathering of Jesus and his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, before he was arrested and crucified the next day, said Father Lincoln Rebello of Divya Kripa Church, a Roman Catholic Church in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. Father Rebello added that there will be no mass or religious services on Friday, but churches mark the day with processions enacting the ‘passion’, or suffering of Jesus as he was led to the cross.

“The holy week is a time of gratitude to God for giving us the sacraments of the last supper, the Eucharist,” said Rebello.

St John the Evangelist Church's Solemn Good Friday Service

At St John the Evangelist Church, Colaba, a Protestant church also known as the Afghan Church, the Friday service, which will start at noon, will be three hours long. This marks the time between which Jesus was put on the cross and his last breath.

“There will be readings from the Bible on the seven sentences Jesus uttered when he was on the cross, with hymns, followed by meditation, the Lord’s Prayer, and benediction,” said Christopher Elisha of the church’s pastorate committee. The first reading will be based on Jesus’ first words on the cross: Forgive them, O my father, they know not what they do. The seventh will be on his last words: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

Revived Church Services Follow Extensive Restorations; Easter Eve Procession Planned By United Christians of Mumbai

The weekend's programmes will be the first major religious services after the church underwent extensive restorations. During the two-year-long repairs, the services were restricted to a chapel on the right corner of the church, said Elisha.

The United Christians of Mumbai will organise an Easter Eve resurrection procession on Saturday evening from Agripada to Mumbai Central, passing through Byculla and Nagpada.

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