| Devotees offer prayers at Queen of the Apostles Church in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Devotees across the city celebrated Easter, the day that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, with utmost fervour on Sunday.
According to the Holy Bible, Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary. It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
The Easter celebrations started with Midnight Mass vigil across different churches in the city, including Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Catholic Church at Bankipore and Padri-ki-Haveli in Patna City. The facades of the parishes were adorned with decorative lights and the altars were tastefully decorated with flowers and religious messages.
Thousand of devotees had gathered at the Queen of the Apostles Church, Kurji, around 10.30 on Sunday night to hold a special prayer session that continued till the wee hours of Sunday morning. The prayers were led by parish priest Fr Johnson Kelakath. People were dressed in their best attire with candles in hands. Other churches also held similar prayers services to commemorate the resurrection of Christ who died for the good of the world.
Devotees celebrated Easter with utmost devotion across the city. “We had gone to the Chakaram church on Saturday night to take part in the special prayer service called Easter Vigil. In the morning, we met friends and relatives and greeted them. We also had a house party in the day in which we had called non-Christian friends and neighbours,” said Sanjay Joseph, a teacher at St Michael’s High School.
Fire and water are specially blessed on the occasion of Easter. The Paschal candle, which symbolises the eternal presence of Christ and lit every year at Easter, was lit at the Kurji church and several other parishes in the city on the night of Holy Saturday. The candle had a Cross, signs of Alpha and Omega and the year of celebration engraved on it. The holy water that is blessed is used in different sacraments during the next Liturgical year.
During the celebrations at various churches on Saturday night, the priests held the candle aloft and thrice exclaimed Light of Christ to which the devotees replied: “Praise be to God.” “The flame represents light of the world and the characters engraved on it- Alpha and Omega represent that Jesus is the beginning and the end and rules over time,” said Father Devasia, vicar-general of Patna Archdiocese.