Special midnight masses held with adherence to COVID-19 norms, pealing of church bells and singing of carols ushered in Christmas in Goa to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Considering the growing threat of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the country, the Christian organisations in the state had asked people to strictly comply with all the standard operating procedures (SOPs), like wearing of masks and sanitisation, during the masses and while visiting the churches.
Social distancing was mandated during the masses and to accommodate all the parishioners, screens were installed outside the churches and chapels where the masses were aired.
Volunteers were enrolled to ensure that everyone follows the SOPs.
Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai extended his greetings and warm wishes to the people on the occasion of Christmas.
In his message, the governor said that Christmas heralds the birth of Jesus Christ, son of God who came down to the earth in the form of a human being to redeem mankind.
“The spirit of Christmas is all about caring, sharing and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The festival brings together people irrespective of caste, creed or religion. It is an appropriate occasion to foster the values of peace, love and friendship that Jesus Christ professed and practised for the benefit of humanity,” he said.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said, “Christmas signifies the time of love, joy and happiness. It is a festival which celebrates the birth of Lord Jesus Christ and reminds us to be kind-hearted towards one another.” “Every year this sacred day is observed with religious zeal, and with sincere prayers all over the world. On this auspicious day, we celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus, who gave us the valuable and eternal message of peace, tolerance, compassion, love and sacrifice. Let us all unite and work for the welfare of the state by channelising all our efforts and energy in ensuring the progress of our state,” he said in a message.