Pune: With the Maharashtra government asking the churches in the state to allow only 50 per cent of the devotees in the midnight mass prayers, a Pune church is celebrating Christmas following all the COVID protocols for "good health of society".
Welcoming Christmas at St. Patrick's Church in Pune, nearly 250 devotees were allowed inside the Church having a seating capacity of 800 people.
The people of the city followed COVID protocols while they prayed in unison at the Church on the occasion of Christmas.
Speaking to ANI, the Father of the Church said that they followed the guidelines laid down by the government for the "good health of society".
"This Church has a capacity of accommodating more than 800 people but did not allow more than 250 people because of social distancing norms. Mask and sanitisation are a must for whosoever coming to the Church," he said.
"We followed all the COVID protocols because it is good for health and for society. We want to convey to society that we are Christians but we are Indians first. We fully cooperated with the instructions given by the Central and State governments," he added.
A devotee, Shweta who had come to pray along with her family, said that the pandemic has made a lot of difference in the way Christmas is being celebrated.
"A lot of difference has come in the way we celebrate the festival due to the pandemic, but it should be celebrated following all the protocols laid down by the government," she said.
Another devotee said that they are trying to celebrate the festival with lesser people around following the social distancing norms.
As the clock ticked 12 midnight on Saturday, Churches across India welcomed Christmas with the Mass prayers.
Midnight mass prayers were held in St. Michael's Church in Mumbai's Mahim, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Goa's Panaji, St. Teresa's Church in Kolkata, Saint Francis Church in Bengaluru and other Churches across India.
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