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Easter is one of the most important religious holidays 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 colourful, irrespective of where they are celebrated. Getting ready for Easter Sunday all through the Holy Week, people keep themselves busy in preparation for the important day by feasting and involving themselves in various activities. Christians gathered in their respective parishes to celebrate Easter on Saturday, April 30.

The main celebration of the Diocese was held at the Milagres Cathedral, Kallianpur under the leadership of Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi; V. Rev. Fr Valerian Mendonca, Rector of the Cathedral, Rev. Fr Joy Andrade, Asst. Parish Priest of Milagres Cathedral; Rev. Fr Ronson, Superior of Holy Cross minor seminary, Katapady, Rev. Fr Nithesh and Rev. Fr Arwin, Pilar Fathers, Kallianpur; Rev. Fr Lawrence Martis and Fr Lawrence Rodrigues, Retired Priests, Milagres Home, Kallianpur were present.

The liturgy of the Easter Vigil began 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 it was carried inside the church. As the Paschal candle was placed on its stand in the sanctuary, the lights in the church were switched on. The priest 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 four readings from the Old Testament: The story of Creation from the Book of Genesis; the Crossing of the Red Sea from Exodus; a passage from Isaiah and another from Ezekiel. This was followed by a reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans and the Gospel passage from St. Mark. After singing ‘Gloria’ accompanied by the ringing of bells and the main church bell, two readings from the New Testament were read.

After the homily, water was blessed and people lit candles as they renewed the Baptismal Vows, following which the Bishop and priests sprinkled the newly blessed Holy Water on the congregation.

In his Easter message, Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, emphasized the significance of Easter as the cornerstone of the Christian faith, highlighting the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“While Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in grandeur, Easter commemorates His resurrection, which is the strong foundation of Christian faith,” the bishop stated. He emphasized that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world, lived among humans, and sacrificed Himself on the cross to establish truth. However, He rose from the dead on the third day, marking the essence of Easter.

“In life, hope and expectation endure until the end,” he remarked. He expressed concern for those who lose hope due to various challenges, such as poverty, unemployment, and broken relationships, often leading to despair and even suicide. However, he emphasized that the resurrection of Jesus offers a new ray of hope to those in despair, reminding them that moments of happiness will eventually come.

“Just as a grain of wheat must die to bear fruit, and gold must be refined through fire, life’s trials are temporary,” the bishop stated. The hope of new life after death, exemplified by the resurrection of Jesus, inspires individuals to face life’s challenges with courage and resilience.

At the end of the solemn Easter Mass, V. Rev. Fr Valerian Mendonca extended the greetings of Easter to all and invoked the blessings of the Risen Christ on all the parishioners. 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 parishioners on the occasion.

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