Christmas 2018: Looking for midnight mass timings? Here's a list
Mumbai's Christians offer a guide to the city's best midnight mass services, so that you can join in the celebrations, too
Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna
10 PM onwards: Attending the midnight mass at the school grounds of Don Bosco's has been a family tradition for Blessy Chettiar. Though a parishioner of Our Lady of Victories in Mahim, Chettiar, 30, says that her family and friends in the neighbourhood have always preferred to attend the mass at Don Bosco's because of its vibe. "Just being out there in the open, listening to the choir conducted by Fr Ian Doulton, draws you into the festive spirit," she says.
Where: Don Bosco High School grounds, Matunga East
St Blaise Church
10 PM onwards: For those who want to experience the Christmassy vibe, parishioner Jane D'Cruz suggests visiting the midnight mass at Amboli. Already lit up with festive lights, the church follows a theme every year — this year, it was the Joy of Giving — and the decorations are in line with that, says D'Cruz. "While the mass begins with a beautiful carol service, some of us even get-together post the service, and belt our favourites songs, as we go walking back home," she says.
Where: St Blaise High School grounds, Amboli, Andheri West
Cathedral of the Holy Name
9.30 PM onwards: This is one of the biggest midnight masses in the city, as the Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, himself leads the service. "Conductor Mario Nazareth gets around five members from the Bombay Chamber Orchestra to play at the service. So, here you also have a cellist, flautist and violinist perform. Nazareth also gets the choir to sing hymns and carols in Konkani," says Dylan D'Silva, a parishioner.
Where: Holy Name High School grounds, Colaba
St Teresa's Church
11.30 PM onwards: If you are looking for something more private, you could attend the midnight mass at St Teresa's. "As is the tradition, the mass is held at the chapel of St Teresa's High School, because it can accommodate a larger crowd. Usually, we only decorate the church with a crib and star, but this is the first time that we've also put up a huge crib at the school. We are also planning to have a tableau of our kids along with the sacred carols, followed by the regular carol singing, and the mass," says parish priest Fr Anthony J Fernandes.
Where: St Teresa's High School chapel, Charni Road
Our Lady of Lourdes Church
8 PM onwards: At Orlem, the whole experience of people coming together in droves is uplifting, says parishioner Brinston Carvalho. "Since the parish can't accommodate such a huge number, we have two masses — one in Tamil and another in English," says Carvalho. The following evening, members from the Bible cell acquaint outsiders with the significance of the crib.
Where: Malad-Marve Road, Orlem, Malad
St Thomas Cathedral
9.30 PM onwards: If there's one thing that Dr Kamal Jadhav wouldn't miss for anything in the world, it's the Christmas midnight service at the 300-year-old cathedral. A regular at the church for the last 50 years, Jadhav, who is the spokesperson of the tercentenary celebrations committee in the church, travels all the way from Powai to be part of the service. "The service ends with the lights being put out, and the congregation lighting up their candles and singing the popular carol, Silent Night."
Where: 3 Veer Nariman Road, Fort
St John the Baptist Church
9 PM onwards: Though a large crowd attends the mass at the church grounds, what parishioner Karen Annunciation likes most about the service is how inclusive it is. "Music is a big part of the service. They put up these huge screens, where the lyrics of the carols and hymns that are being sung, are displayed. This ensures that we all participate and enjoy the service. Even the sermons are very enriching," she says.
Where: Church quadrangle, Ahilyadevi Holkar Marg, Talaopali, Thane West
Our Lady of Glory
11.30 PM onwards: Beverly Noronha, 25, has only fond memories of the Christmas service at her parish. Among the handful of churches, which begins midnight mass at sharp 12, the service, she says, is preceded by carol service led by Margaret Fernandes. "We also put up a unique star in front of the church," she adds. The service ends with distribution of coffee and cake.
Where: Sant Savata Mali Marg, Byculla East
St Peter's Church
10.30 PM onwards: For Sandra Almeida-Thevar, who grew up in Bandra, it's the Christmas choir at St Peter's, which she most looks forward to, during midnight mass. "They sing in different voices, and come together beautifully. Before the service, parishioners also put up a small skit or carol performance, and it's a sweet start to the service," she says.
Where: St Stanislaus High School grounds, Hill Road, Bandra West
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