Allow Christians to hold midnight mass on Christmas-eve till 1 am, Maharashtra CM urged
MUMBAI — Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena spokesperson Krishna Hegde has urged Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to relax the rules and permit the Christian community to hold the midnight mass on Christmas-eve, here on Wednesday.
In a letter to the CM, Hegde requested him to extend the timing for Christmas-eve till 1 a.m. (December 24-25) to enable the community members hold their midnight mass.
He said on account of the existing rules, since the past few years, the midnight mass is being conducted much earlier, from 7 p.m. onwards – instead of the traditional timing of midnight, marking the birth of Jesus – at hundreds of churches and public venues across the state.
“I would request you to kindly make an exception this year and grant the Christian community time till 1 a.m. on December 25 so that they can have the midnight mass as per their tradition at their respective churches and parishes,” said Hegde.
He pointed out that extension of time-limits during some festivals has been permitted by the state government in the past, as he urged Shinde to consider the plea favourably this year.
Owing to the noise pollution rules and curbs on use of loudspeakers, all public events, social or religious gatherings – barring the occasional exceptions – are banned after 10 p.m. for over two decades in Maharashtra.