Thousands of Miles From Each Other, Parishioners Pray Together During Virtual Good Friday Services | Calcutta News

Calcutta: The city’s church halls echoed with prayers as Good Friday services took place in the afternoon. The faithful attended in large numbers and efforts were made to distance them socially. Services in Hindi and Bengali were held in different halls of the church so that there was no overcrowding. In addition, many churches have arranged to broadcast the services on the web so that the elderly can join virtually. Many have described this as a positive that the pandemic has helped bring since last year.
Many began with a ritual visit to the seven churches in the early hours of the morning. Dressed in black to signify mourning and grief, they moved from church to church on foot (many were barefoot as tradition dictates), touring the seven churches of their choice. The number seven signifies the seven holy places related to the arrest and trial of Jesus.
Besides the two main cathedrals in the city – the Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary, the main church of Catholics where Archbishop Thomas D’Souza was the main celebrant and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the main church of the Church of the North India – others Churches that saw high attendance were St Thomas, Middleton Row, St Mary’s Ripon Street, Prabhu Jishu Girja, Wellington, St Anthony’s Chapel Market Street, Christ the King Church at Park Circus, Church of the Sacred Heart in Dharamtalla, Church of Our Lady of Vailankanni in Picnic Gardens, Union Chapel on Lenin Sarani and St Thomas Church on Free School Street. Bishop Paritosh Canning has chosen to move to smaller churches for the Good Friday service this year and to read Mass at St Thomas Church, Howrah and St Peter’s Church, Behala.
“I toured the seven churches and then watched the Passion service live from the Cathedral of the Most Holy Rosary where the Archbishop spoke,” said educator Janet Gasper Chowdhury. “I am overwhelmed by mixed feelings of sadness and hope. When the Bible passages are read to relive the suffering of Jesus, it is too overwhelming, ”said Monica Vincent, another educator. “Jesus died with all the pain and suffering in his stride and still asked for forgiveness. Pray for such resilience, ”said Vicar General Dominic Gomes.

Perry A. Thomasson