Coronavirus ‘Hijacks’ Christians’ Palm Sunday Festival

Christians across Zimbabwe failed to celebrate their annual feast of Palm Sunday yesterday as the country is under a 21-day lockdown to control the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to Anglican Bishop for the Harare Diocese Farai Mutamiri, Sunday, 5 April 2020, was the first Sunday when the feast was not observed since the year 1349. He said:

It goes to show that it (COVID-19) is serious.

I can testify that I have never had a Palm Sunday service without palms. That alone signifies that this pandemic is real, and we need to take heed of calls coming from the government to stay at home.

With COVID-19, we were unable to participate and follow the proceedings that we normally do as churches.

Christians celebrate Palm Sunday by holding street processions, usually close to their places of worship while holding palm leaves and branches.

The Palm Sunday festival is held at the beginning of the ‘Holy Week’ in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, a week before he was crucified by the Roman government.

In 1349, a global pandemic which wiped out between 75 and 200 million people off the face of the planet forced the temporary closure of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and Christians could not celebrate Palm Sunday.


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