Mangaluru: This year Christmas celebrations took place in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions issued by the state government citing health and safety concerns, which also disturbed the plans of very many. With restrictions on the number of people to attend mass, many opted to stay home and watch it on TV or online. Church services were staggered or held simultaneously at different times, causing inconvenience to many. However, these measures seem to be necessary for the protection of our people, our prayer is that the Christ child brings his peace, his love, his joy and good health to all the world.
"Midnight mass was about neighbours knocking at your door at 11 pm and all of us going to church together. If it's not at midnight, it loses its charm. I might as well attend the morning mass on Christmas instead of attending one at 7 pm. I have never missed midnight mass since childhood. This was a very different experience" said Ms Sharon, who stayed home and watched Christmas mass live on Divine World TV. But to keep the tradition of Christmas Eve mass, Fr Roshan Crasta-the Administrator of Fr Muller Homoeopathic Medical Hospital, Deralakatte in the outskirts of Mangaluru went ahead in having the mass, joined by the hospital staff and students.
The Christmas Eve mass was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel at the institution, and the main celebrant was Fr J B Crasta, the Chaplain at the institution. The choir of homoeopathy college students rendered few of the popular Christmas carols along with hymns, which was enjoyed by all. Fr J B Crasta in his homily said, "A child has been born for us, a son given to us, authority rests upon his shoulders. And he is named `wonder counsellor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace". These words of the prophet Isaiah are words written to proclaim the birth of a great King. If the event of Christmas has anything to teach us, it is that every child is a child of God, whose dignity is rooted in being loved into life by God and whose hope is rooted in the promise of eternal life. In all of these difficult questions, THAT must be our starting point as Christians; a deep respect in the face of the mystery of life".
"We live our lives in between the birth of Jesus and His coming again at the end of time. The challenge for us, as St Paul says is "to be self-restrained and to live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing that will come". If, to use the words of Isaiah, "our gladness is greater", it is not because everything is sorted. It is because the Lord is near. Like the light shining in the darkness, that is what gives us the courage to live from day to day in justice and integrity. I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas. I will be offering this mass for you and for your family members, especially those who are sick or away from home at this time" added Fr J B Crasta.
Following the mass, the faithful and others were treated with delicious Christmas Kuswar and cake. Fr Roshan Crasta missed the mass at FMHMC& H, since he had to attend the mass at Father Muller Charitable Institutions, in Kankanady, Mangaluru.
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