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Papiya or Devats


Papiya or Devats as traditional referred to in the East Indian language is a group of 10 to 20 men. The Devats are associated with the parish they belong to. They hold a lighted candle and carry the traditional wooden clapper, rattling it that all the way through their prayers at the crosses installed in the place they visit. They start at midnight and pray through the peak of the night wearing hoods so that no one would recognise them. They sing east indian Marathi hymns urging people to get up and pray. Hearing them sing is a hair raising experience as they lament in their varied tone's.No two groups are allowed to face each other or else they are to kneel down and pray and only then can they move. The best way to avoid clashes is to make sure they hide from each other.

Biblical reference to them are the three apostles Peter James and John who accompanied Jesus to Gethsemane the night before his arrest.

In Orlem the Devats called the "Passionists" is a group of young men. They have also included English Hindi and Marathi hymns as well so that all can understand They meet on the Saturday after Ash Wednesday to decide on the activities to be conducted and the places they will visit. They are also involved in setting up the weekly Passo statues including the Palm Sunday Veronica service and the Good Friday descent from the cross.



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