Special prayers, processions mark Good Friday

New Delhi: Good Friday, marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, was observed across the country with special prayers in churches and undertook fasts as a way of renunciation of earthly comforts.

With candles in their hands, hundreds of devout Christians took out processions at various places carrying wooden crosses to symbolise the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.

Christians in Kerala held day-long prayers, abstained from all worldly comforts and congregated in large numbers in churches for special prayers to mark the day.

“Stations of the Cross” processions were taken out in towns and villages across the State with devotees bearing wooden crosses depicting the final hours of Jesus from his condemnation to the laying of the body in the tomb after crucifixion on the mount Calvary.

Hundreds of pilgrims bearing crosses ascended the St. Thomas Church atop the hillock at Malayattoor in Ernakulam district, believed to have been sanctified by the visit of Apostle St. Thomas, who preached Christ’s message in India.

The Catholics as well as Eastern Christians in Kerala trace their origin to the landing of St. Thomas on the Kerala coast to preach the Gospel in the first century AD.

Good Friday was also observed in Nagaland with the Catholics in capital Kohima taking out a procession bearing crosses. Most of the shops and business establishments remained closed at Dimapur, Kohima and Mokokchung.

In Meghalaya, special sermons on salvation and partaking in the ‘Lord’s Supper’ marked Good Friday as devotees united in prayers to mark the Crucifixion of Christ.

Christians offered prayers at the feet of the Holy Cross, one of the most prominent landmarks in capital Shillong.

The Cathedral Church of Mary Help of Christians is the principal place of worship of the over 3,00,000 strong Catholics of the Shillong Archdiocese which covers the Khasi and Jaintia Hills of Christian—dominated Meghalaya.

Members of different parishes of the Catholic Church took out a ‘Procession of the Cross’ on the streets of Aizawl and sung hymns. The Presbyterian Church and the Baptist Church held masses in Mizoram.

In his message on the occasion of Good Friday, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank asked the people to follow the path shown by Christ and work for the welfare of humanity.

Many devotees in the national capital attended special masses held in various churches.

Good Friday also marks the most important day of the season of Lent, when the faithful lead a frugal life shunning all luxury and physical comforts to gain spiritual strength.