The Hindu

Annual Velankanni festival to be held without pilgrims

Proceeding­s will be telecast live till September 8

- Special Correspond­ent

For the first time, the Velankanni annual feast this year will be held without a gathering of pilgrims due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having announced that Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Velankanni, will remain shut for public worship during the annual festival, administra­tors of the shrine have apologised to the pilgrims for the inconvenie­nce caused and have decided to live-stream the festivitie­s, starting off with the flag hoisting.

The flag is to be hoisted by the Bishop of Thanjavur Diocese, Rev. Fr. Devadas Ambrose. Prayers will be conducted at 7 a.m., every day, for the duration of the festival in Konkani, Malayalam, Tamil, English, Kannada and other languages.

No public worship will be conducted until further announceme­nt from the government.

Appealing to the pilgrims to avoid visiting the shrine, in keeping with the government’s instructio­ns, Rector Rev. Fr. Prabakar said the proceeding­s would be telecast live until September 8, when the annual festival would culminate with lowering of the flag.

In his message to the pilgrims, Fr. Prabakar requested them to pray together, with family, to save humanity from the dangerous situation.

 ??  ?? Crowd control: No public worship will be held until further announceme­nts from the government.
Crowd control: No public worship will be held until further announceme­nts from the government.

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