People attend Easter service at St Anthony's Church in the early hours of Sunday.—White Star

KARACHI: Full of light and colour with bright happy faces all around, Easter mass at St Anthony’s Church here was quite different from the solemn Good Friday communion a couple of days ago.

“That’s because Good Friday is the day of our lord Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and Easter is the day of his resurrection. It is the celebration of new life, hence the festive mood,” Joaquim Alvares, a volunteer at the church, told Dawn.

Members of the Christian community gathered at the church at 11:30pm on Holy Saturday for the first Sunday mass and Easter vigil which started around midnight. “At first there is darkness until the priests bless the fire and light the big Easter candle that has a cross on it,” explained parish priest at the church Father Mario Rodrigues.

The Father then went around the church as the people lit their own candles with the Easter candle’s fire and slowly the light spread.

“In the night, we also have seven readings from the holy Bible after which we bless the new holy water followed by the renewal of baptismal promises.

The midnight mass goes on till around 2:30am followed by another rather simple mass in the morning,” said the parish priest.

About the role of Easter eggs in the ceremony, the father smiled and said:

“Eggs signify new life so the Easter eggs have found a place in the whole celebration. But Easter eggs have been turned into a commercial thing now.”

The Sunday morning mass had fewer people than the midnight mass. Joyful hymns praising God’s glory were sung by the angelic voices of one of the church’s four choirs.

After the service and blessings by Father Mario, little girls and boys all dressed in their Sunday best played as they chased one another in the church grounds while the priest greeted their parents.

Asked if he received frowns for missing the midnight mass, Kurt Menezes, a young man at the church on Sunday morning said: “No, of course not. That’s what the morning mass is all about. If you missed the midnight mass there is always this time to look forward to.”

Joanna Maria Ashraf, a young housewife from North Karachi, was also there wearing a pretty new orange and white shalwar kameez. She said she was originally from Poland and found the St Anthony’s parish lively and welcoming.

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