Archbishop Marco Tin Win, of Mandalay archdiocese in Myanmar, released guidelines on Christmas and New Year celebrations for all the Catholics in his Archdiocese on November 10.
In his guidelines, the prelate encouraged all the Catholic faithful to engage in “spiritual exercises such as confession, hearing Mass, prayer, reading Bible, meditation, listening to the homily, recitation of rosaries, and helping the needy, instead of material preparations and celebrations."
He also recommended Novena starting from the first Sunday of Advent which will fall on November 27.
The Archbishop also appealed not to sing Christmas Carols and play Christmas songs with soundboxes, and to avoid party gatherings, and festive table fellowship as signs of celebration. He also cautioned against, posting photos of family celebrations and party gatherings of Christmas on social media.
He discouraged priests, men and women religious, and laypeople from decorating churches, clergy houses, convents, and the bell towers of the churches.
This, the Archbishop explained, is to “express solidarity with those who are experiencing troubles in Magway and Sagaing Regions in the territory of the Archdiocese.”
Many people in some parts of Mandalay Archdiocese, particularly in the Magway and Sagaing Regions, have fled to the forests due to the conflicts between the Myanmar military and People Defense Forces, according to locals.
Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar, after the former capital, Yangon. Mandalay is remarkable for being at the heart of Burmese-Buddhist & Burmese culture. Catholics are the minority and Buddhists form the majority.
As of 2021, the Archdiocese of Mandalay has only about 21,346 Catholics within an overall population of about 1.5 million people with 30182.93 square miles. - RVA Pwo Karen Service
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