Mahrs Report On an Easter In Ahmednagar

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International Easter Celebrations

Majors Ted and Rosalyn Mahr are Western officers stationed at Evangeline Booth Hospital in Ahmednagar, India. She writes that on Palm Sunday, all the Christian churches send their young folk on a march around and through the city, carrying palm branches and singing. The hospital vehicle brings branches from surrounding villages. Crosses made from them are woven and given to each person attending the meetings.

Each day through the week, a short devotional is held in the outpatient department, with a theme on events leading up to the crucifixion and reminding them of Christ’s sacrifice. Patients watch or join in as staff and visitors sit on the floor of the veranda, singing and praying.

On Good Friday at the Hospital Corps there is a special service which, though based on “three hours at the cross” is shortened due to the intense heat and the number of children present. A large wooden cross is decked only with a purple cloth and a crown made of the thorns which grow abundantly nearby.

It is a beautiful scene as the sun rises during services held on the roof of the student nurses’ hostel. Each attendee receives a special egg, dyed and decorated by the children. After the service the eggs are eaten for breakfast. Then, all go to the corps hall to prepare the cross, removing the crown of thorns and purple cloth, and attaching roses and flowers to it, so it is completely covered…blooming with flowers!

The cross greets those attending the Easter Sunday morning service. While by the evening service, the heat has wilted the flowers, it remains on the platform as a reminder of a special day.

Monday is a holiday for most of the hospital staff…a day to rest and reflect on the season.

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