Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Sacred Heart Cathedral - one of the oldest in Delhi

Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi

 Since  a large European community was living in Delhi, the capital of British India during the per-independence era, this church was built to cater to the European community including British soldiers. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi

The Cathedral Of The Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic cathedral belonging to the Latin Rite is in Delhi. The church together with St. Columba's School, and the Convent of Jesus and Mary school are located on a huge 14 acre plot  near the south end of Bhai Vir Singh Marg Road in Connaught Place, a busy area. Considered as  one of the oldest church buildings in New Delhi, India it was built  by Father Luke, a member of the Franciscan first order of  St. Francis of Assisi. The foundation stone was laid 1929 by Rev. Dr. E. Vanni, the Archbishop of Agra. The funds for the project were  mostly met by donations from  the colonial officers of the British Empire. One
Sir Anthony de Mello  bore the expenses of the  main Altar of the Church, which is made of pure marble. So was the  Archbishop of Agra  who presented a bell, vestments and altar furniture. In 1930 construction work began in earnest. It was finally consecrated in 1935. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi

The British architect Henry Medd,  designed the building in   Italian architectural style.  The white pillars supporting  the canopy in the facade of the building and  circular arcaded turrets rising above  on either side  of the cathedral's entrance porch enhance the beauty of this old church.The other features are  a towering curved roof, polished stone floors and broad arches inside the church.
There is is a large fresco depicting the Last Supper behind the marble altar in the apse.  Inside the chapel there is a large crucifix, next to  a statue of the Virgin Mary  on the left.

Sacred Heart Cathedral in Delhi Midnight mass. Christmas Eve.
The major festivals in this cathedral are Easter and Christmas.  The Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Christmas Vigil Service an hour before midnight Christmas Eve are celebrated with devotion and religious fervor. Christian religious services are held throughout the year as in many churches. 
The cathedral is located in the center of New Delhi and can be easily accessed.