Udupi: Easter is one of the most important religious festival for people following Christianity all over the world. The festival commemorates the Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ, three days after the agonizing Crucifixion.
Easter celebrations are very colorful, irrespective of where it is celebrated. Getting ready for Easter Sunday all through the Holy Week, people keep themselves busy in preparation for the important day, fasting, and prayers. Christians across the district of Udupi gathered in their respective parishes to celebrate Easter on Saturday March 26.
The main celebration of the Diocese was held at the Milagres Cathedral Kallianpur under the leadership of Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi. The liturgy of the Easter Vigil began at 7 pm outside the church. The lights were put off, when the fire was lit. With the blessing of the new fire, the Paschal Candle was lit and carried inside the church. As the Paschal candle was placed on its stand in the sanctuary, the lights in the church were switched on. Dicon Denis Miranda of the cathedral, chanted the`Exsultet, also called the “Easter Proclamation”.
The next part of the Easter Vigil was the Liturgy of the Word during which four readings from the Old Testament were taken up each followed by a responsorial hymn and prayer by the main celebrant.
The Liturgy of the Word comprised of four readings from the Old Testament: The story of Creation from the Book of Genesis; Crossing of the Red Sea from the Exodus; a passage from Isiah and another from Ezekiel. This was followed by a reading from the Letter of St Paul to the Romans and the Gospel passage taken from St Mark. After singing ‘Gloria’ accompanied by the ringing of bells and the main bell of the church, two readings from the New Testament were read.
In his homily, Bishop Gerald Lobo emphasized the fact that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after being crucified is the foundation of the Christian faith which cannot be shaken by anyone. The Apostles who were filled with fear after the crucifixion of Jesus, experienced the Risen Christ and became bold and vocal, and began to spread the good news.
After the homily, the water was blessed following the recitation of the Litany of the Saints by Walyan Machado. Once again, people lit their candles as they renewed the Baptismal Vows following which the Bishop and priests sprinkled newly blessed Holy Water on the congregation.
At the end of the solemn Easter Mass, Fr Stany B Lobo, Rector of the cathedral, extended Easter greetings to all and invoked the blessings of the Risen Christ. He also thanked each and everyone who had helped in the smooth conduct of all the services during the Holy week. Bishop Gerald also wished Happy Easter to all the faithful on the occasion.