Christmas is the season to be merry but it’s also the time to strengthen family ties. On a bright Tuesday morning, Father Peter John asked the devout Christians gathered at the St Patrick’s Cathedral’s mass to have good relations with their families.
“I don’t want to talk about negative things but our family life has gone down,” said the Father Peter, clad in cream-coloured robes. “We have forgotten family values. Parents don’t take care of children and children don’t have respect for their elders anymore.”
As the congregation listened attentively to the sermon, Father Peter said that a new world can be created if people develop strong ties with their family members. “We should have love for our children and our lives.”
He hoped that this Christmas would unite families and they would follow the messages of Jesus of being caring and kindhearted.
The spirit of Christmas enveloped the church as people bowed down their heads in prayer, surrounded by a tall Christmas tree and the straw nativity crib with its figurines of Mary and Shepherds.
A choir at the front sang hymns, such as Saviour’s Day, in sync with the organ. As the mass came to an end, people gave alms and received eucharist from Father Peter.
To avoid any unpleasant situation, Rangers and policemen guarded the church. A huge red star and banners of political parties greeting Christians were put up on the walls. After the mass ended, Daffy, dressed in shimmery black clothes, said that she wanted to get home early so that she can put final touches to her Sorpotel - a Goan dish. Her message for Christians on the occasion was to be at peace with themselves. “If we are at peace, then only can we spread peace and unity in the society.”
Wearing Santa hats, sisters Nancy and Angie excitedly spoke about the gifts they received on Christmas. “I got a doll house,” said the former, while the latter was happy with her set of paints and crayons.
A suited Fernandes, who had a dance party to attend at night, said that despite the law and order situation in the city, they did their best to celebrate the festival with high spirits.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2012.
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