City lights up with festive spirit
A festive spirit prevails among the Christian community in Guntur. Festivities which started in the first week of December itself with Pre Christmas and Suppose Christmas celebrations, have now reached a feverish pitch.
A festive spirit prevails among the Christian community in Guntur. Festivities which started in the first week of December itself with Pre Christmas and Suppose Christmas celebrations, have now reached a feverish pitch. Thousands of members of caroling music bands scattered in about 200 churches across the city are busy with rehearsals. They are all set to go on a caroling spree from the night of December 20 that will culminate at midnight on December 24 heralding the birth of Jesus Christ.
Carol singing is actually meant to announce the birth of a saviour just as it happened on a cold winter night 2011 years ago when the angels from heaven appeared to shepherds in the night singing ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is Come, Let Earth Receive Her King’.
Nights get reverberated when carol bands sing historical hymns like ‘Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm and All is Bright’ and ‘Around the Manger Mother and Child, Christ the Saviour is Born’ visit the homes of people in the next five days. Santa Claus would also make his grand appearance in homes along with carol bands.
Meanwhile the message of Christmas is being sounded out with all excitement by churches in different locations of the city to spread the festive spirit and the joy of Christmas. Shops in the city are doing roaring business selling Christmas cakes, stars and Christmas trees, apart from glittering and colourful decorations and balloons with slogans of Happy Christmas printed on them. New clothing and gifts to visitors form part of the celebrations. Distribution of clothing to poor, orphan children, destitute women and widows, leprosy victims and HIV Aids, was undertaken by several organisations including AMG India International, Church of South India and the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Mission and other churches in the city. Bible Mission secretary Rev. Kiran Kumar says that Christmas celebration is basically to promote the message of peace on earth and goodwill towards men. The centrality of the message is that a Saviour who will redeem people from their sins was born on Christmas day. Churches are getting ready for holding Christmas Services on December 25 to mark the climax of the celebration of the birth of Christ. Churches will be illuminated on the night of December 24 when the midnight mass would commence.
By: Ravi P Benjamin