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On Good Friday, the devout seek blessings

April 03, 2015 20:23 IST

Good Friday was on Friday observed across the country with special prayers in churches and the faithfuls observing fasts as a way of renunciation of earthly comfort to mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Image: Christians at a Good Friday procession at St Francis Church in Bhopal. Photograph: PTI Photo

Hundreds of Christians took out processions at various places carrying wooden crosses and rosaries to symbolise the final hours of Christ from his condemnation to the laying of his body in the tomb after the crucifixion on the Mount Calvary over 2000 years ago.

It was a holiday for government offices and educational institutes. Many devotees in the national capital attended special masses held in churches amid tight security.

Heavy police deployment was seen near churches in the wake of recent attacks on Christian establishments in the national capital.

Image: Christian devotees offer prayers at Little Mount Church in Chennai on the occasion of Good Friday. Photograph: R Senthil Kumar/PTI Photo

In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wished for "mercy, peace and love" on the occasion.

"Mercy, Peace and Love! May the grace of Lord surround you and be with you on Good Friday!" Kejriwal tweeted.

In Kerala, the Christian community observed Good Friday by congregating in large numbers in churches of various denominations across the state where senior prelates led special prayers to mark the day.

In most places, processions were taken out with devotees bearing wooden crosses depicting the final hours of Jesus.

Hundreds of pilgrims carrying heavy wooden crosses trekked to St Thomas church atop the hillock at Malayattoor in Ernakulam district, which is believed to have been sanctified by the visit of apostle St Thomas, who preached the message of Jesus Christ in India.

Image: A person dressed as Jesus Christ is re-enacting the crucifixion on Good Friday in Mumbai on Friday. Photograph: Mitesh Bhuvad/PTI Photo

In Meghalaya, special sermons on salvation and partaking in the 'Lord's Supper' marked Good Friday. Christians offered prayers at the feet of Holy Cross, one of the most prominent landmarks in state capital Shillong and adoration of the cross services were held in the afternoon in almost all churches.

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.

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.

Christians believe that on Good Friday, Jesus Christ was executed by crucifixion.

Image: Christian devotees offer prayers at The Sacred Heart Cathedral on the occasion of Good Friday in New Delhi. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo

Following this, his body was taken down from the cross, and buried in a cave and huge rock was put over the entrance and guards were deployed so that no one could steal the body.

However, on the next Sunday, some women who visited the grave found that the rock had been moved, and that the tomb was empty.

Jesus himself was seen that day, and for days afterwards. This day is celebrated as Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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