For devout Kerala Christians it's going to be a long haul

3/29/2020

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For the Church going devout Christians in Kerala, it has now dawned on them that it's going to be a long haul lockdown, as a result of which a visit to their parish church is now out of question.

While all the plans of a blistering Easter celebrations have now gone out of the window as Easter Sunday falls on April 12, the present announced nationwide lockdown comes to an end only on April 14.

A 80-year-old widow of a popular priest, though not keeping the best of health, says this is the second successive Sunday that she is missing out on the weekly Sunday mass.

"I just fail to recollect, when I have missed the Sunday mass for two successive Sundays in my life. But thanks to our Church authorities, on these two Sundays, I was able to see the prayer session led by our bishop, online, sitting at home. Though I have not got the same feel of experiencing the mass, while sitting in the Church, this online prayers is of course a refreshing thing. All the time I am in prayers for the sufferings of the people worldwide and wish and hope, things will subside, soon," said the aged widow.

Last Sunday it was the nationwide Janata Curfew and hence all religious activities for the public were called off.

By now, most of the Churches have gone online, where the priests conduct a brief short prayer session and is now become a hit among the devout church going laity.

"All of us watched the online mass and we also took part, just as what would have happened, had we been in the church," said a young devout Christian family in Kottayam.

A section of the Christian priests, including bishops however are not that 'happy' with the lockdown, as many of them had plans to have their Easter celebrations outside India, especially in the various churches in the Middle East, US and Europe.

The visit by the bishops and popular priests is of recent phenomenon as through this visit, various fund collection takes place either for building a new church, back home or for other church related philanthropic activities.

In a related development in a statement from the Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, of the Diocese of northeast America, in New York, of the Kottayam headquartered Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, he said that as all continue to keep vigilant in these days of the coronavirus pandemic especially those in healthcare who continue to offer their care for those who are ill.

"On March 25 after Holy mass, I began experiencing some mild-cold and flu-like symptoms. Upon the advice from my primary care physician, and out of an abundance of caution I was tested for COVID-19, which came positive. I have self-quarantined to ensure no one else is affected," he said.
Source: IANS

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