At Bandra’s Mount Carmel Church, wooden statues of Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles were being dusted and polished on Thursday morning.
By evening, a life-sized tableau of ‘The Last Supper’ had been set up, complete with a large cross in the background. The installation attracted hundreds of parishioners, who assembled at the church grounds to catch a glimpse of the recreation of Christ’s final meal in Jerusalem, shortly before his crucifixion. “This century-old tradition of depicting the suffering, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ using life-sized statues has helped us create awareness and reach out to the locals. This includes non Christians,” said Father Byron Mendonca, the parish priest of the Bandra church.
On Friday, Christians will observe Good Friday, which is the culmination of the 40-day Lent period during which they abstained from meat, alcohol and sweets. Good Friday is observed during the Holy Week, which also includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday.
“On Friday morning, I will go to my church to attend the special service. In the evening, we will donate some food grains and money to the economically backward in our locality,” said Charlene D’souza, a resident of Matunga, who abstained from paying bribes to traffic cops during the Lent season. “I am glad that I could manage to go without paying any bribes during the entire 40-day duration. I will strive to abstain from breaking traffic signals and bribing the cops, even after Lent.”
At St Anthony’s Church in Vakola, thousands of Christians will embark on a ‘Walking pilgrimage’ on Friday evening, enacting Christ’s final journey. The pilgrimage will take place on the streets of Khar, Vakola, Santacruz and Kalina. “Several college students will wear costumes of the biblical characters and enact the all relevant scenes, right up to Christ’s resurrection,” said Joseph Dias from the Catholic Secular Forum.