Mumbai Spreads Christmas Joy Beyond Churches: Acts Of Kindness Illuminate City's Festivities

Mumbai Spreads Christmas Joy Beyond Churches: Acts Of Kindness Illuminate City's Festivities

Churches and schools in the city are inviting the underpreviliged to the season’s festivities

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Sunday, December 24, 2023, 11:07 AM IST
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FPJ

Christmas is a season of cheer, and Mumbaikars are spreading the festive happiness beyond their churches and homes.

Churches and schools in the city are inviting the underpreviliged to the season’s festivities.

Sacred Heart Church, Santacruz, has invited the security staff and women domestic workers serving in buildings in the neighborhood to an event on December 27. Children staying in the slums in Golibar will be special guests on the day. Father Felix D'Souza, parish priest at the church, said that the message at the gatherings was 'God is with us wherever we are'. "We are saying 'The world is on pieces because of war, but we need to bring peace'," said D'Souza.

At the Barretto High School, Cavel, Kalbadevi, students will give gifts to peons and other non-teaching staff members.  On Sunday afternoon, Sacred Heart School, Worli, will have a Christmas celebrations for children from slums.

Gifts for patients in the children's ward of B Y L Nair Hospital

Like every year, members of St Andrews Marathi Church, Agripada, which completed its centenary in 2014, will distribute gifts to patients in the children’s ward of B Y L Nair Hospital, Mumbai Central. As part of its Christmas decorations, the church features a 20-foot-wide star made of bamboo and cloth. 

Christmas is also the time when the city's urban villages compete for awards in Christmas decorations. The East Indians, one of the oldest residents Mumbai, are celebrating the festival as ‘Sarvajanik Krist Janmotsav 2023’, with competitions for crib displays, and prizes for the villages with the best decorations. 

Archbishop of Mumbai, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, is expected to attend a function organised by Mumbai Meri Jaan at Shivaji Park on December 26 to honour members of the city's Christian community for their contribution towards public causes. Among those who will be honoured are radio jockey Malishka Mendonsa; singers Lorna Cordeiro, Prince Jacob and Rita Rose, hockey player and Dronacharya Award winner Clarence Lobo, social worker Janet Dsouza, Father Joe Pereira of Kripa Foundation, Grace Pinto of Ryan International Group of Institutions, and church activist Cyril Dara. 

'Mumbai Meri Jaan' to hold events between December 25 and 30

Mumbai Meri Jaan, will hold a festival of music, dance, and food, on the evenings between December 25 to 30, at Krida Bhavan, Shivaji Park. The festival will feature performances by Goa's 'nightingale' Lorna Cordeiro, Rodney and the Band, Moksh the Band, Kalakar Orchestra, and characters from upcoming Marathi Movie Ekda Yeun Tar Bagha, Gaurav Maharashtracha, apart from other events.  On the evening of December 23, Father Rocky Banz, parish priest at Victoria Church, inaugurated lights and a 'selfie point' outside the church.

With Christmas Eve on the night of Sunday, many Christians will be attending two masses on the day. Apart from the mandatory Sunday morning mass, they will be going for the midnight service at church in the evening.  Christmas Day is on Monday, December 25.

“There will be two masses to attend on Sunday, and that is because of rules that do not allow loudspeakers after 12.00am. The Christmas mass is at midnight, but most churches in Mumbai that organise outdoor masses on Christmas Eve start their service around 8.30pm to stick to the deadline,” said Father Joseph D’Souza, parish priest at the Our Lady of Health Church, Kalbadevi.

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