Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, December 24
For the first time in the history of 151-year-old Christ Church on Ridge, a landmark of Shimla, the festival of Christmas would be celebrated sans midnight mass on Christmas Eve due to the COVID-19 pandemic and imposition of curfew from 10 pm to 6 am.
Devout Christians would not be seen heading for the church in biting cold wave conditions and tastefully decorated and illuminated church would not witness the midnight mass.
It is for the first time that no midnight mass will take place on Christmas Eve due at 151-year-old Christ Church on Ridge due to COVID-19 and services would be held in two phases tomorrow at 9:30 am and 11 am said priest of the Church Rev. Sohanlal.
Only fifty devotees would be allowed at a time as per the guidelines, he said and added that the real spirit of Christmas lies in helping the needy and dry ration would be distributed among the needy and the poor”.
“It was during the World War II that a priest in Germany appeared as Santa Clause and distributed sweets and a gift to the poor and needy and since then it is a practice to help the downtrodden,” said youth president of the church Andrew Samuel.
Christ Church, built in the neo-Gothic style in 1857, is the second oldest church in North India after St. John Church in Meerut. It was designed by Colonel JT Boileau in 1844.