Kochi: Special prayers, midnight masses and low-key festivities Monday marked Christmas in Kerala, which witnessed massive devastation and loss of life due to Cyclone Ockhi last month.
Senior bishops and priests led special masses and gave out Christmas messages at cathedrals and churches across the state.
As many as 59 fishermen, who got stranded in mid-sea and were later rescued, took part in a midnight mass held at a local church nearby coastal hamlet Poonthura.
While Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis led the mass at St Mary’s Cathedral of Syro Malankara Catholic Church at Pattam here, Archbishop Soosa Pakiyam conducted the services at the St Joseph’s Metropolitatan Cathedral at Palayam in the city.
During the prayers, Soosa Pakiam said the church was considering a comprehensive package for the rehabilitation of Ockhi victims.
He also called for helping the next of kin of the cyclone victims.
In his Christmas message, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to observe the day standing along with those who suffered in the cyclone as the state was yet to recover from its shock.
Governor P Sathasivam wished that Christmas enrich people’s life with “the eternal spirit of love, compassion, generosity and forgiveness” and strengthen their social harmony. People exchanged greetings and gifts with friends and relatives.