Christians mark the beginning of the Holy Week by celebrating Palm Sunday.
New Delhi: Christians across the country celebrated Palm Sunday to mark the beginning of the Holy Week, which culminates with Easter Sunday.
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.
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 celebrate 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.
Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week and the last week of the 40 days of Lent, and is one of the most important feast days for Christians around the world.
Palm Sunday falls the week before Easter, which is on April 21. The final few days of the Holy Week includes few other crucial days - Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
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.
The Holy Week will come to an end on Easter Sunday that falls after Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.