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On Easter Sunday, this Assam church had pictorial attendance of believers

The Sacred Heart Cathedral Church, Bishop’s House in Dibrugarh had put up pictures of its members on the pews to mark their symbolic attendance.

Published: 12th April 2020 10:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2020 12:46 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: On Easter Sunday, a church in Assam had the pictorial attendance of believers.

As religious places have been kept out of bounds from people in the COVID-19 lockdown, the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church, Bishop’s House in Dibrugarh had put up pictures of its members on the pews to mark their symbolic attendance.

Bishop Joseph Aind told this newspaper he had improvised that way to ensure that the church members were not left out of the service on the day their Lord returns.

“The government ordered not to have any gatherings. So, abiding by its guidelines, we didn’t have people in our church. Since they couldn’t come in the lockdown, I had suggested them to give their photos. We placed those on the pews,” Bishop Aind said.

“I had asked them to imagine that they were in the church participating in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. I am happy that people responded by praying at home,” he said.

The church priests, including the bishop, are conducting religious services and streaming them on YouTube channels and other social media platforms to enable believers to attend the services from their homes. In Nagaland too, the churches adhered to the directive of Nagaland Baptist Church Council by having the “Easter Sunrise Service” online.

“It is a very important day for the Catholic world but due to COVID-19 pandemic, they (believers) could not come. I offered the Mass for them as well as everyone that coronavirus disappears from the world and people can continue their work,” Bishop Aind said.

Some 400 families are associated with this church, which is the third oldest in Northeast after the ones at Shillong and Guwahati. Some 40-50 floating families are also associated with it.

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