The Christian community of the city entered the holy week with the celebration of Palm SundayÂ today. Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday commemorates the entrance ofÂ ChristÂ into Jerusalem whenÂ palmÂ branches were placed in his path, before his arrest onÂ Holy ThursdayÂ and his crucifixion onÂ Good Friday. It thus marks the beginning ofÂ Holy Week, the finalÂ weekÂ ofÂ Lent.
Usually, on Palm Sunday mass, blessed palms are distributed to parishioners who carry them in a ritual procession into the church, this year no palms were distributed due to the COVID-19 scare. Palm branches are widely recognized symbols of peace and victory, hence their preferred use on Palm Sunday. Because the palms are blessed, they may not be discarded as trash. Instead, they are appropriately gathered at the church and incinerated to create the ashes that will be used in the following year’s Ash Wednesday observance.
This year on the backdrop of the rising coronavirus cases the celebration of easter will be a low-key affair for the Christian community of the city. As per the guidelines, the city churches conducted the mass today in the presence of 10 persons while the rest of the parishioners attended the mass online. As the lockdown is extended, other services of holy days will be carried out in same manner.