Tech enhances experience of pilgrims at SFX novena
30th November 2018, 05:47 Hrs
OLD GOA: Even as the novena in honour of St Francis Xavier at Old Goa entered the sixth day on Thursday, use of additional technology this year has helped enhance the experience of the lakhs of devotees that throng to the holy site each year.
Among the striking features of the added technology are the four giant screens and five giant fans in the pandal erected outside the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
While two giant screens are neatly placed on either side of the backdrop behind the altar at the pandal outside the Basilica of Bom Jesus, another other two giant screens can be found on the eastern and western side of the congregation.
The giant screens are not only used to relay the proceedings of the Masses, but are also to display the responses and hymns for the congregation. This has immensely helped the pilgrims to participate in the Eucharistic celebration in a much better way.
The use of giant screens to display the hymns has also eliminated the previous practice of printing the hymns on leaflets, which would be distributed to the congregation. In some cases, these leaflets had been found discarded after Masses.
Between the Masses, the giant screens are put to effective use in displaying the Novena and Feast Mass timings, besides relevant notices and video clips for the benefit of devotees and pilgrims.
Asked to comment about the installation of giant screens, Rector of the Basilica of Bom Jesus Fr Patricio Fernandes said it was an idea which was planned long ago.
“But due to high costs, it was put on the back burner. This year, we felt it was high time that these giant screens were introduced. Also, people felt that the leaflets were small and sometimes not put to good use,” Fr Fernandes added.
On the use of the five giant fans -- four ceiling fans above the congregation and one pedestal fan behind the choir -- Fr Fernandes stated it was getting warmer every year and devotees used to complain about the heat.
“So Francis Serrao of Crosscraft, a leading Goa-based event management company, suggested the use of giant fans by raising the height of the pandal. Initially, they were to be installed in the middle of the pandal, but due to weight issues, these four giant ceiling fans were installed on the sides,” the priest added.
“Also it was very hot on the stage with the priests sweating profusely. That is the reason why a giant pedestal fan is installed behind the choir directed towards the altar,” Fr Fernandes explained.