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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Christmas spirit grips Ranchi

- Carols, cake & Cardinal’s message mark programme

Four flower girls, looking like fairies in their all-white attire and showering petals on the gathering, carols, a message from the Cardinal and of course, a cake ushered in the Yuletide spirit in the state capital on Sunday.

It was Christmas Milan Samaroh, organised by the All Churches’ Committee, Ranchi, which was attended by heads of all churches active in the region or their representatives and a few hundred Christians. There was also participation from Young Men’s Christian Association, Jagat Jyoti, Gossner Theological College and Good Books Association besides Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Mahasabha and Jharkhand Sadbhavna Manch.

Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo, who could not attend the meet as he had to leave for Vietnam for urgent work, sent a message that was read out.

“Let us make a little place for God and others in our hearts and homes,” the Cardinal urged in his message. “Jesus had no place in an inn 2,000 years ago (when his parents had to take refuge in a stable at the time of his birth). Even today he has no place,” the Cardinal added, elaborating that these days, greeting cards had pictures and images of all sorts of things like jingle bells and reindeer, but not of Jesus.

Similarly, Christmas has everything like cake, candle, carol and celebrations, but not Christ.

D.T. Khathing, vice chancellor of Central University of Jharkhand, who was the chief guest, questioned the need for so many denominations when all are Christians.

The audience appreciated both the Cardinal’s message and Khathing’s speech.

The mood, which was set by a group of girls singing Aj khushi se jhumta gagan, was carried on by the church choir, which presented Hindi carols like Aj ek balak janma hai/jo sansar ka raja hai and Shanti dhara par chhaye. Silent night, holy night capped off the celebrations as everyone lit candles followed by cutting of the Christmas cake.

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