12/18/2020, 12.28
SRI LANKA
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This year's Christmas Mass to be held several times, with 50 participants in each

by Melani Manel Perera

Card Ranjith calls on Catholics to celebrate this Christmas with close relatives and to try to help those who have been directly affected by COVID-19. The Archbishop also calls on the media to refrain from broadcasting programmes that taint the true meaning of Christmas.

 

 

Colombo (Asia News) – The Archbishop of Colombo, Card Malcolm Ranjith, has asked Catholics to give priority to religious observances this Christmas, keep celebrations only among family members, and help people with COVID-19.

Speaking to the press yesterday, Cardinal Ranjith laid out this year’s celebrations of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas services will be held every hour, starting at 6 pm, on 24 December. He also asked the media to refrain from broadcasting programmes that taint the true meaning of Christmas.

The celebrations, including Christmas Eve Mass, will be limited to 50 people, following strict health regulations, Archbishop Ranjith said.

“Christmas Masses will be arranged by parish priests according to the needs of each parish subject to health guidelines. I request Catholics not to move from district to district to visit relatives due to the heightened risk of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the prelate explained.

Archbishop Ranjith himself will celebrate Mass on the 24th at the  St Sebastian Church, in Kandana, whilst Auxiliary Bishop Maxwell Silva will be at the Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in Kimbulapitiya.

Bishop Anton Jayakody will celebrate the service at St Sebastian Church, in Moratuwa, whilst Bishop Anton Ranjith will lead the Mass in Tamil at St Sylvester Church in Ettukala. The Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka Mgr Brian Udaigwe will celebrate Mass in English at the All Saints Church in Borella, Colombo.

All these religious services will be broadcast live on various television channels.

“Celebrate this Christmas with close family members and try to help those who have been directly affected by COVID-19,” said Cardinal Ranjith.

“There are people who have lost their jobs. There are people who are facing a financial crisis. Invite such a family to celebrate Christmas with you or send them some food or a meal.”

Archbishop Ranjith asked both the government and private institutions to refrain from holding parties and meetings this Christmas and focus instead on spirituality and serving people in need in the country.

"Certain media programmes celebrate Christmas in which people are not even dressed properly. “Don't do that,” he asked. “Christmas is not a jolly celebration. It is a spiritual and religious moment. We are against using the ideal meaning of  Christmas for other purposes," the Archbishop stressed.

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