MEDAK: Thousands from across the Sate and beyond, as well as a few hundred visitors from aboard, converged on Medak town to usher in Christmas with prayers and celebrations at Medak Cathedral, the second largest church in Asia, on Monday night.
Being one of country’s largest churches and the cathedral church of the Diocese of Medak of the Church of South India, the church attracts thousands of Christian faithful from over around the country and aboard every year.And it was no different this Christmas as devotees from not just Medak but also from Sangareddy, Siddipet, Hyderabad, Warangal, Karimnagar districts, and also from neighbouring states like Maharashtra and Karnataka reached the town to offer prayers at the famous church.
Even before the people started gathering for the midnight mass, the church wore a festive look thanks to the colourful decorations and lightings and the elaborate arrangements made by the church authorities.
With people feeling blessed to attend the midnight mass, and the prayers there after, Bishop Reverend Solomon conducted the first prayer as scheduled.
With Christians and people of other faiths, including foreigners, too coming to witness and be part of the four-day celebrations, the district administration and security agencies, in coordination with church authorities, made elaborate arrangements.
While making arrangements to provide basic facilities like drinking water and toilets at the church, the authorities also ensured the people celebrated the festival in a safe and secure atmosphere.
City’s historic churches start celebrations
Hyderabad: As the city gears up to celebrate Christmas today, various historical churches in Hyderabad will be performing rituals as per the traditions which the members of their congregations have been following for nearly two hundred years. Each church -- depending on the they belong to, like Anglican Church of South India, Wesleyan Methodist and others -- has its own unique way of celebrating. For instance, the 198-year-old St Joseph’s Church in Abids has planned a prayer dance by toddlers apart from the Christmas mass that would start from around 10.30 p.m and culminate at 12.00 a.m. “One should visit our church on Christmas day. People from all faiths throng here,” said a priest of the St Joseph’s Church. Established in 1820 by Italian missionary Pietro Caprotti, it is the only church in the State with baroque architecture. It is ordained with chandeliers brought in from Scandinavia. It also has murals which were brought from Italy. On one of the walls of the church, hang paintings donated by Nizam VII Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan. Members of the nearby St George’s Church, established in 1844 and also one of the five churches in the State to possess a pipe organ, will be chanting/singing verses on Christmas night rather than reading prayers.