Christians came out in great numbers to celebrate the ‘Palm Sunday’ in Nagercoil town, taking out small processions holding Palm fronds to mark the occasion of Christ’s Triumphant entry into Jerusalem five days before being slayed by the Romans. The Roman Catholic Christians and the congregations of the Church of South India (CSI) went out on ‘Palm Sunday’ processions through the streets of Nagercoil, singing Hosanna to the Highest.
Similar processions were taken out by the CSI and the RC Christians of Kanyakumari in various parts of the district which were followed by Palm Sunday Service and Holy Masses, in which the parishioners congregated in large numbers holding palm fronds. Being the last Sunday before Easter, the Christians of Kanyakumari district marked the beginning of the Holy Week with special prayers and service.
The palm fronds collected during the Palm Sunday are crafted into crosses and held holy by the Roman Catholics till it is time for Ash-Wednesday next year, when the dried fronds are burnt to ashes and the ash applied to the forehead. CSI Christians on the other hand do not attach much significance to the palm frond, and don’t bother too much about how or where their Palm frond ends. Most of them are crafted into Crosses and are displayed for a day or two before they disappear in the dump.
Processions were taken out from almost all the churches in Nagercoil including St. Xavier’s Church in Kottar, Christ the King, Kaliancadu CSI, Home Church, Christ Church, Nesamony CSI, Kurusady, Holy Family Church Ramanputhoor. Elsewhere, church members went on procession in almost all villages and towns in and surrounding Manakkudi, Kanniyakumari, Colachel, Thuckalay, Marthandam and Karungal.
Significance of Palm Sunday
Christians all over the world celebrate Palm Sunday with palm branches and special masses/services worship/ on Palm Sunday, or Passion Sunday, as it is sometimes called. This event commemorates Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, as foretold by the prophet Zechariah.
The Bible tells us people cut branches from palm trees, laid them across Jesus' path and waved them in the air. They greeted Jesus not as the spiritual Messiah who would take away the sins of the world, but as a potential political leader who would overthrow the Romans. They shouted "Hosanna [meaning "save now"], blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" In ancient times, palm branches symbolized goodness, well-being, and victory. They were often depicted on coins and important buildings during the Roman era.