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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Pune: Amid curbs, many to mark Easter Sunday at home

Bishop Thomas Dabre said as a mark of the church’s loyalty to the civic authority and the government, they are going to follow all the rules and no services for Easter will be held inside the church. Instead, priests can hold a virtual service that people can access online.

Written by Ruchika Goswamy | Pune |
April 4, 2021 10:36:38 am
Pune Police during the Night Curfew with Nakabandi at Balgandharva Chowk on JM road, on Saturday. (Express Photo)

For Philip Marcelline (62), a resident of Marvel Diva, Magarpatta, Easter Sunday will include the celebration of the liturgy and a grand feast with his big family. Eric Paul D’Souza, a paediatrician and Elaine Pinto, a home baker by leisure, from Wanowrie plan to attend the virtual vigil service organised by their church, as religious places remain closed for seven days as per new measures announced by the district administration.

“I have a big family and we will be celebrating Easter Sunday at home. Although we are sad we will again miss out on community celebrations of Easter which are livelier, but nonetheless, we are not worried or scared. We have been fasting since Good Friday and will break the fast with a grand feast, in the morning after the reading of the Bible. The whole family has been helping out with preparations,” said Marcelline.

Meanwhile, D’Souza said while the circumstances are very different, they wish to celebrate Easter in the same spirit. He said the restrictions give an opportunity to celebrate amid families, although on a much smaller scale.

“Normally we have the Easter vigil and it is also the time when parents tell their children the significance of Easter. We will do a small vigil and a celebration of the liturgy and recount the reading normally done in the church, as we do not have a church service for us. If some church holds a virtual service, we will attend it as the complete service cannot be conducted at home,” he said.

Bishop Thomas Dabre said as a mark of the church’s loyalty to the civic authority and the government, they are going to follow all the rules and no services for Easter will be held inside the church. Instead, priests can hold a virtual service that people can access online.

“For us believers, this is the most important and best period of the Christian year. People come for worship during the holy week, that is from last Monday till Easter Sunday, and therefore there is great sorrow, distress and disappointment among people. The situation is just a repeat of last year. We have spoiled our chances as we let our guards down, and now we are paying the price. On Good Friday, we had below 50 people but for Easter, the churches will be closed in light of the welfare of the people,” he said.

Pinto (27) has been making Easter eggs out of a leisurely interest in baking and confectionery for five years. Each year, she also introduces a new variety. While she had an average of 900 pre-orders of Easter eggs every year, this time it is around 500.

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“The pre-orders have dropped 20 to 30 percent compared to 2019. Last year I had zero orders as the lockdown was already in place, so that way it is okay. I usually get orders from churches as well as individual people, as they give Easter eggs to family and friends. But as people are not going out anymore and are wary of buying from a third party. The new curfew rules also make deliveries in the city difficult,” she said.

She explained the egg symbolises rebirth and people give it to their near and dear ones. “It is something sweet and fascinating, like a goodie. People, especially those with children, want to give them Easter eggs. I received an order from a lady who has Covid and wanted Easter eggs for her children,” said Pinto.

Established in 1937, Murthy Confectionery and Bakery in Somwar Peth is famous for its chocolate Easter eggs with two chocolate chicks. In light of the low footfall and the looming apprehension of the virus, the bakery made lesser eggs.

“Compared to last year, we have made less Easter eggs, as there was a very low sale and many eggs went to waste due to the pandemic. This time, regular customers were the only footfall at our shop. In fact, even after having the shop available on online deliveries, we just had one order of six eggs till now. We started our production of Easter eggs a month ago, and on Maundy Thursday, we generally have hot cross buns. But this time around, we did not make any,” an employee said.

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