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Students take part on ‘Palm Sunday’ procession in Dimapur

(L) Catholic Faithful participating in the Palm Sunday Procession at St. Joseph Church, Chumukedima. Students of Bethesda Higher Secondary School Dimapur take part in the procession on Sunday. (NP)
Published on 18 Apr. 2011 12:44 AM IST
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Reports of Palm Sunday procession from different parts of Dimapur poured in here on Sunday.
In main city, the Bethesda Ministries and Education Centre, Dimapur organized ‘Palm Sunday’ procession where more than a thousand students of Bethesda Higher Secondary School enthusiastically participated remembering ‘The triumphal entry’ of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.
Students along with their teachers in colorful dress waving palm fronds and placards toured round the streets of Dimapur. The joyful singing and praising the Lord “Hosanna to the son of David”, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” echoed the streets of Dimapur in the early morning signifying the occasion of Palm Sunday.
The procession organized by Bethesda Ministries every year on Palm Sunday has been a welcoming event and cherished by parents and public of Dimapur.
A good number of people came out of their houses to witness the Palm Sunday procession which boosted the enthusiasm of the children who glorified God through their songs and slogans.
The procession started with invocation prayer by Rev. Moses Murry, chairman, Bethesda Ministries, Lungwangle of class 9 read scripture from Mark 11: 1-26, followed by a skit on the significance of Palm Sunday. The procession was led by Esther Murrry, administrator along with principal and teachers.
The procession culminated with a short message on the significance of Palm Sunday by Rev. Moses Murry. The organizers expressed gratitude to the students, teachers, parents and the co-operation of the police department (traffic) for their continued support. The Holy Cross Church Dimapur also celebrated the occasion with a huge number of faithful of the Parish attending the service and Holy Mass.
Vice-principal of Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Dimapur Fr. Cyriac, officiated the celebration and concelebrated by Fr. Nebu, Rector of Bon Bosco Higher Secondary School, Dimapur and Fr. Matthew Thunianpral, secretary, Education Commission, Diocese of Kohima.
In his sermon Fr. Cyriac said people must not live a double standard life in their relationship with Jesus. He explained that during the time of Jesus, people who welcomed Jesus with much joy and celebration were also the ones who shouted “crucify him.”
He further said Christians’ faith in Jesus was once and for all and does not change to suit one’s convenience, situation and circumstances as the Jews did with Jesus. “Palm Sunday celebration reminds Christians that Jesus Christ is the King of the Universe. Jesus Christ is the King of my heart and my family,” he said.
He said riding on a Donkey by the king and entering Jerusalem was a symbolic expression of Home Coming to be one with the people. In the same way, welcoming Jesus into our homes makes Jesus a part of our family, he said. Palms signified joy and victory over death and were among the symbols most frequently met with in the tombs of early Christian Martyrs.
Together with the rest of the Catholic Churches all over the world, St. Joseph Church, Chumukedima celebrated Palm Sunday.
The celebration began with the blessing of the palm leaves distributed to the Catholic faithful who made a solemn procession to the Church. Upon entering the Church, there was Holy Mass during which the passion narrative from the Gospel according to St. Matthew was read out.
During the Holy Mass, the main celebrant highlighted upon the humility of Jesus at the time of solemn entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, even as he was aware that he was going to die on the Cross. His humility was at its peak when Jesus was falsely accused by the chief priests and elders and eventually condemned to die on the Cross. However, the supreme act of Jesus’ death on the Cross was crowned as Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, the main celebrant said.
Earlier, Rev. Fr. Sabu Chenackal, the parish priest while welcoming the Catholic faithful reminded all on the significance of Palm Sunday. He enlightened the faithful that on Palm Sunday, people were with mixed feelings. During the Holy Mass, Christians recalled the Passion of Jesus as he was condemned to death.

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