Sunday, December 07, 2008

Oh! Come All Ye Faithful...

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!…

I remember well this hymn, What A Friend We Have In Jesus very well as we all sang it loudly right from our belly, as our music teacher, Miss Valent, rehearsed the song with us over and over again, in end November, just before we left for the winter holidays on 10th December, in Shillong. A small Christmas party would happen in the Dining room with lots of good food and gifts. As boarders, we were always excited and hungry for the food and we sang as loud as we could, almost till our lungs burst.

Hence, on my visit to Shimla this October, on attending the Sunday Mass at 9 am, I could hardly hold my tears as the memories and faces from the past flooded my mind as I sang with the Choir Group there, sitting right in front of me….

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!…
Indeed, the first cornerstone of Christ Church was laid on 9 September, 1844 and the Church consecrated by Bishop Wilson of Calcutta on 10 January, 1857. The letters on the cornerstone was legible till the early twentieth century when it became indistinguishable from the masonry. Col. J T Boileau built the Church of stone and brick in lime mortar with neo-Gothic elements. This was the first 'proper' Church in Shimla. Before that, the Church service was held in a thatched building on the Northbrook Terrace, on The Mall near the Telegraph Office.

This has a nave, chancel and tower. The stained glass windows over the alter and the clock were both placed in 1860. The floor has a centre aisle flanked by pews and the two sides aisles again flanked by pews. Heavy snows in 1961 caused extensive damage to the building and the pinnacles running along its length were dismantled. Even today the Church has some interesting memorial tablets while the pews still mark the seats of the British Viceroy of India and The Commander-In-Chief.
Sunday service only: English 9 am; Hindi 11 am

Sunday Band outside the church
> State Central Library, Shimla
And those who watch the Sunday Band....

To each his own

October Shimla
Fun times at The Mall
Way to the house where Tagore stayed in Shimla

The house where Tagore stayed for eight months


Janet Jeyapaul said...

Beautiful photos and memories!!!I wonder if the songs echo through the mountains - soul stirring post!!!

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Janet,
Shimla is very English, especially if you are at The Mall where the church is. I think the mountains resound with Jingle Bells and Rudolf The Red Nose Rain deer!!! And why not...hahaha!
Thanks for visiting,

Amrita said...

Wow Julia, where were you hiding these lovely photos /

I have seen that church in post cards. I always wanted to visit Shimla maybe one day i will. Christ Church is so much like the one in Mussoorie - Char Dukan.

That hymn is so comforting isn 't it?

I love the tudor looking Library

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Amrita,
Now that you say it, next time I am in Shimla I will definitely ask you to visit. The entire English architecture in Shimla is Tudor and it is really fascination. The church and the stain glass paintings - well, WOW!

I love that hymn. It stirs my soul alway.

Unknown said...

lovely photos..!

Julia Dutta said...

ಸಿಮೆಂಟು ಮರಳಿನ ಮಧ್ಯೆ
Lovely name and way to say it!
Thank you for visiting:)

Slogan Murugan said...

lovely story! and nice pics

Julia Dutta said...

Nice to see you around :)))

Saija said...

absolutely beautiful pics ...
and thoughts ...
blessings on you!

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Saija,
Thank you so much for visiting :)))

Anonymous said...

thanks for dropping by my site. wishing you a very merry christmas and a blessed new year!

Julia Dutta said...

Thanks Pia. Loved your blog :))

Mridula said...

Wonderful pictures and school memories are so priceless!

Mridula said...

Wish you a very happy 2009 Julia.

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Mridula,
Thanks for dropping by. Happy New Year to you too!