“50 Stars of Christmas” : Cathedral of The Sacred Heart, Delhi – India’s Prestigious Catholic Church
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is popular as one of the most prestigious of Catholic Churches in Delhi. The church is situated amidst the 14 acres of lush greenery. Sacred Heart is also one of the oldest churches in Delhi. The highlight of this Christian place of worship is the impressive and white altar made of marble. It is said that Sir Anthony de Mello gave the altar and the Archbishop of Agra donated the bell, robes and other furnishings to the church.
Cathedral of The Sacred Heart is situated near the Gol Post Office in New Delhi. Father Luke, from Franciscan First Order founded by St. Francis of Assisi, wanted to build a church in Delhi. He purchased the land near the Gol Post Office for the purpose in 1929. The construction of the same commenced in year 1929 and took around 4 years to complete. As a result, it is seen that the cathedral is extended up to 14 acres, situated amid the two catholic convent schools of Saint Columba’s school and the Convent of Jesus & Mary School.
Henry Medd, a collaborator of Sir Edwin Lutyens and the designer of the Church of Redemption for the Anglicans, designed and constructed Sacred Heart Cathedral of Delhi inspired from Italian Churches. The church has a massive vaulted ceiling under a towering curved roof, polished stone floors and broad arches. The façade has mouldings and cupolas.
The dark arches of the entrance enhance the building’s immensity. The altar is domed and of pure Carrara marble. The main fresco of Christ and his 12 disciples (who have green eyebrows and blue hair) is painted by an unknown artist. The artwork shows signs of age but still look glorious. The archbishop of Agra, who also laid the building’s foundation, presented the bell, vestments and altar furniture.
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Delhi is one of the most popular cathedrals in the capital of India. You would be surprised to note that many people including a vast section of the youth don’t visit this church regularly. However, during annual events in Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Delhi, hundreds of locals and tourists visit this place to witness the gala feast of spirit and mind in Holy Communion with divinity.
As per the customs, a number of occasions are celebrated and observed in Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Delhi. During these annual events in Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, even the daily prayers are elaborately and ritualistically performed.
While the most important of the annual events in the cathedral are Easter and Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Christmas vigil service are the most awaited of festivals during the Christmas. The vigil service is held just an hour before midnight on Christmas Eve. You will be awe-inspired to notice the ramifications of the Christmas festivals which are not only celebrated through the ritualistic church services and prayers but through numerous cultural and social programs held annually. Through these social and recreational events, the spirit of fraternity and harmony is spread beyond the closed doors of the cathedral into the niches of the society.