Palm Sunday is celebrated the Sunday before Easter. It also marks the start of the Holy Week which consists of Good Friday and finally ends with Easter celebrations. Palm Sunday to me from very childhood symbolises the making of crucifix using palm leaves which we make by hand a day before and decorate the church with it.
This year also I had managed to make a couple of them and was even luckier to show my daughter how to make one which she with some difficulty got it. Working with palm leaves also meant that occasional pokes from the thorny leaf ends and when I was young I usually had a couple of them on my fingers. Some of these crucifix would be used to decorate the doors and windows and some are distributed amongst the congregation as a symbol of participation of the mass. My mother since childhood used to tell me that when she was young after the Palm Sunday Mass the entire congregation would walk in procession around the Church compound with palm leaves in hand. This is not possible in our church since it’s much smaller and also it does not have any enclosed ground.
In my Church denomination this Palm Sunday is also celebrated as Confirmation Sunday. This is the day when teenagers and adults would be blessed by the Bishop and henceforth they would be allowed to take part in the Holy Communion. This is more of an initiation ceremony wherein the Bishop carries out anointing with the Holy Water followed by the Laying on of Hand, and prayer, for bestowing the blessings of the Holy Spirit.
Once this is done these candidates would become full member of the church, allowed to take Holy Communion and Vote at the different elections within the church organization. This also means that you are allowed to marry at a Church. So occasionally you will also find many couple taking Confirmation. Also you won’t be surprised to see senior citizens taking confirmation since age is no bar for realizing the need to be part of the blessings.
The candidate are usually dressed in all white something which is considered holy in Christianity and women cover their heads. Bishop would bless all the candidates followed by Scripture reading and then the finial initiation ceremony.
I had to go through this in the year 2002 and of course could not photograph myself but luckily this year one of my cousins and one of my nephew were both taking confirmation so this was a good opportunity for me to photograph the entire ceremony. Hope you enjoy the series.