Diwali celebration at St. Mary’s on November 13

St Marys church diwali 1

Celebration of Deepavali on November 13 2016 at 10.45am for 11.00am start

Deepavali (or Diwali), the Festival of Lights, which is unquestionably India’s biggest festival, will be celebrated at 11.00am Mass at St Mary’s Church, corner of   Miller and Ridge Streets, North Sydney, on November 13.

To be comfortably seated before the start of the service, arrive at 10.45 am is recommended. Parking is available in the church grounds (Ridge Street entrance) as well as both Miller Street and Ridge Street.

While Deepavali is a Hindu festival, it is also a time of general celebration by Indians of all religions everywhere, with special Masses in India as well as many other countries with communities of Indian origin. Famously, in 1999, Pope John Paul II performed a special Eucharist in an Indian church saying, “(On the) occasion of Diwali, the festival of lights, which symbolises the victory of life over death, good over evil, I express the hope that this meeting will speak to the world of the things which unite us all.”

In keeping with this spirit, the mass will  be joined by a number of people of Indian origin, belonging to Christian, Hindu and other faiths. November 13 was chosen as it will be much easier for all the  Hindu friends to join in well after the official festival, which runs from October 28 to November 1.

The celebrant of the Mass will, once again be Fr. Phil Crotty, one of the Jesuit priests of the St Mary’s community, who lived in India for 50 years. He is fluent in several Indian languages and will share his deep knowledge and understanding of Deepavali and his unique personal experience of its celebration in India.

St Marys church diwali

To give the event a feeling of India, blowing of the conch shell is planned, lighting of the ceremonial lamp, special Indian music, including Christian hymns and prayers in Indian languages such as Hindi and Gujarati and a Sanskrit mantra and devotional and festive Indian dances.

In keeping with this spirit,  all participants are encouraged to come in Indian wear or any item of clothing, e.g. shawls or shirts made from Indian material.

The mass will go from11.00am to 12.00 noon, after which there  will be  refreshments.

People  are welcome to bring a plate of Indian or non-Indian snacks and sweets to share with the congregation.


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