The Christian community started Holy Week from Sunday with Palm Sunday, which will continue till Easter Sunday (next). This time, churches have taken up the cause of the severe drought situation in the state.
“Many churches have decided to direct some of the donations to help those in the drought-affected areas of the state,” said Father Neil dos Santos, secretary to the Archbishop of Mumbai. Every parish collects donations during the period of Lent and Good Friday, which goes to the upkeep of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, a tradition across the world.
“Concern about the drought was raised at a meeting of city priests about two weeks ago, and it was expressed that churches should work towards helping the drought-affected,” said Father Nigel Barrett, head of the Catholic Communication Centre.
At St Ignatius Church in Mahalaxmi, gifts and items donated by parishioners will be directed to benefit the drought-hit. “We will collect all gifts donated by parishioners on Maundy Thursday, and direct them to agencies working for the drought-affected areas,” said Father Joe D’Souza, parish priest of St Ignatius Church, Mahalaxmi.
In some churches, preparations for the Holy Week have begun. “About 20 small Christian communities (SCC) at our church had put up musical programmes based on the religion,’ said Father Vernon Aguiar, parish priest, Sacred Heart Church, Santacruz. “We are expecting up to 4,000 parishioners to attend services,” he said.
On Sunday, hundreds of parishioners from the Tamil Methodist Church, Parel took out a procession to Dadar with palm leaves. “During the week, at every prayer service, we will remember the incidents in Jesus’ life, his crucifixion and resurrection,” said Reverend Lionel Hector.