Christians across the country celebrated Palm Sunday today to mark the beginning of the Holy Week, which culminates with Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The day initiates Holy Week, the last week of Lent, during which they observe Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, culminating the week into Easter Sunday, the day on which Jesus rose from his tomb. It falls the week before Easter, which is on April 21.
Faithful in Kerala and Chennai celebrated the day with Mass, carrying palm fronds and flowers in commemoration of Christ's arrival in Jerusalem and to mark the prophecy which was fulfilled by him. Christians in Tripura are observing the Holy Week. They held special prayers and mass on Sunday for Palm Sunday with full devotion to commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into the Holy City Jerusalem.
Jesus rode into the city on a donkey and people greeted their long-awaited 'Messiah' in joyous celebration waving palm fronds. Ever since the faithful across the world celebrates Palm Sunday in memory of the event.
"Today the whole church celebrates Palm Sunday which stands for paradise. Palm Sunday causes liberation from all sin and evil elements, that's why we celebrate this Sunday," Francis Sundararaj, pastor of Anthoniyar Church in Broadway, Chennai said.
"People chant 'Hosanna - Hosanna', which means save us Oh! Lord, for Jesus who liberated us and rode on a donkey. Today we are at the threshold of the election, people are all going in procession for one person to elect somebody as a leader, but 2000 years ago one man Jesus Christ went on procession for the whole universe, for the whole humanity that is the difference between both scenarios." said Sundararaj.
While offering prayers, the faithful hold palm leaves, which is considered to symbolise the victory of the good over the evil, symbol of victory, triumph, peace, and eternal life.
Palm Sunday and the period preceding Easter (Lent) is the most sacred time of the year for Christians. They devote their time in fasting and penitence in commemoration of Christ's 40- day fast in the desert.
"I wish all the people of Tripura for this Holy Week. Today we celebrated the entry of Jesus. This whole week Jesus suffers, goes through the pain and agony. So we observe the death and resurrection of Christ," said Mewar Kumar Jamati, Forest Minister of Tripura.
"Today Christians around the world celebrate Palm Sunday also known as Passion Sunday wherein we remember the solemn entry of Jesus Christ and also his passion," said Father Boby John, a priest.
Pastor priests accompanied by other clergy members recalling Christ's entry to the Holy City. Worshippers took out a procession with palm leaf from the Holy Cross which ended at the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Durjoynagar- the outskirts of capital Agartala.
A large number of believers attended the church services on Palm Sunday and prayed for universal peace and prosperity.