Mangaluru, March 20, 2016: Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, is being marked by all Churches of Dakshina Kannda and Udupi, today Sunday March 20, 2016, launching the sacred ’Holy Week’ for Christians here as in all parts of the Globe. Easter is seen as the crowning glory in the faith of the church which will be on March 27, 2016. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday will mark solemn days during this holy week.
PALM SUNDAY: This year today March 20,2016. It signifies the triumphant entry of JESUS CHRIST in to Jerusalem along with his followers who perhaps sensed his death by crucifixion (Good Friday) before the Jewish passover which is observed on Holy Saturday. There was also probably one group that thought that now the ’Kingdom of Christ’ was to be triumphantly proclaimed. As directed by Jesus, an upper room was requisitioned and a ’banquet’ was held known as ’The Last supper’ which is the focus of ’Holy or Maundy Thursday’.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem there was a great enthusiasm and he was welcomed by his followers in great numbers. In such circumstances it was a custom to break branches from trees, particularly the olive trees and wave them in welcome. This is what is observed in all the churches in Mangalore on Palm Sunday morning with a special mass. As per custom, locally coconut palms are blessed distributed to all the faithful at spot a little away from the churches. The congregation then goes in procession to the church, palms in hand and singing hymns glorifying Christ! In old times the main refrain sung in Latin was "Hossana filio David! Vestimenta proster nibant in via, et clama bandichenthis". Meaning indicates, ’Hail the son of David! prostrate and spread your garments on the paths and proclaim his glory’. In Mangalore it’s surroundings and all over the world this day is observed as per tradition.
At the ancient Rosario Cathedral, people assembled from 7.30 am in the Rosario School grounds opposite the church. At 7.45 am, V Rev Mgr. Denis Moras Prabhu Vicar General of Mangaluru Diocese, with five other priests intoned special prayers and blessed the palms held in the hands of the faithful with incense and holy water. Then a procession made it’s way into the church with singing of hymns and the solemn Holy mass was celebrated, all in the traditional Konkani. The passion of Christ by St.Luke was read in it’s full length, by three priests, and the celebrant Rev. Mgr. Denis Moras Prabhu, preached and recollected on the significance and meaning of Christ’s last supper, sentence, suffering, carrying the cross and crucifixion as applied in todays’ context. The Holy Week or Great Week that has commenced today which will peak on Easter Sunday will be marked solemnly in all Christian churches the world over.
The blessed Palm is greatly treasured by Catholics and preserved throughout the year. It said to ward off all misfortunes, evil and help the faithful. It is honoured as a safeguard against lightening strikes and sickness in particular. The remains are often burnt to ashes and used on Ash Wednesday, to be put on the fore heads of the faithful.