Devotees offering prayers at Christ the King Cathedral in Sector 19, Chandigarh. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Devotees offering prayers at Christ the King Cathedral in Sector 19, Chandigarh. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Good Friday observed in Chandigarh among Covid restrictions

Some churches in the city even organised their services online; similar restrictions are likely to be in place on Easter this coming Sunday
By Rajanbir Singh, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 01:08 AM IST

Good Friday, a holy day for the Christians, was observed in the city with limits on congregations owing to Covid protocols in place.

Some churches even organised their services online; similar restrictions are likely to be in place on Easter this coming Sunday.

Speaking about this, bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas of the Roman Catholic Church, Simla and Chandigarh Diocese, said that this year at Christ the King Cathedral in Sector 19, their service had remembered the sacrifices made by the frontline workers in the past year: “We prayed for the safety of people, and the opportunity that the pandemic has given to bring everyone together.”

Speaking about the precautions taken on Friday, the bishop added, “To maintain social distancing, the benches were marked. Some were placed outside the hall as well. During veneration, people were asked to just touch the cross and to sanitise their hands right after. For holy communion, similar preparations have been done. We also conducted a parallel programme at our Nayagaon church and urged people living nearby to go there.”

The Sector-18 Christ Church conducted the service online like last year. Secretary Parkash Masih said, “The sermon was delivered online. For Easter, we will hold regular service from 11am to 5pm on Sunday, however, people will be urged to come and pray for five minutes only. No Easter lunch will be held and instead, packaged snacks will be provided.”

The Tricity Church Association also held a simple event this year. Chairman Father Premanand said, “Our congregation on Friday was limited. In Manimajra, around 100 people were allowed; in the army cantonment area of Chandimandir, only 40 people were allowed and no civilians.”

President of the association Lawrence Malik said they will keep the event lowkey on Easter Sunday as well. Churches in Mohali saw a congregation of very few people owing to the Covid restrictions imposed in Punjab.

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