Palm Sunday Tadi

For the first time in many years, Christians in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis could not attend church services and embark on procession to celebrate Palm Sunday.

Christians could not be on the streets for the usual processions through some principal streets of Takoradi amidst brass band music, waving palm fronds and singing Hosanna.

Before the social distancing guidelines were issued due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Christians celebrated the day with processions and the distribution of palm branches while many churches were filled to capacity with the premises decorated with palm fronds.

Though many of the churches visited by the Ghana News Agency were closed and filled with empty pews, the joyous message of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem were delivered through radio, television and social media to members.

President Nana Akufo-Addo on March 15, ordered the closure of all schools and universities and the suspension of all public gatherings for four weeks as a means to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These public gatherings included conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious events such as services in churches and mosques.

Hitherto, in the Twin-City, many churches were decorated with crafted crosses from palm leaves while children served as an integral part of the service since they enjoyed the processions with the crafted crossed palm fronds amidst singing “Hosanna”.

At the Star of the Sea Catholic Cathedral Church and the Bethel Methodist Church in Takoradi, the main gates to the church compound were under locks while they were decorated with palm leaves.

Some Christians who spoke to the Ghana News Agency were not even aware of the day since they were thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic and the threats it imposed on the economy.

According to them, though they won’t have the opportunity to congregate in church, the development offered them the opportunity to have a feel of what the early Christians encountered before most of them suffered persecution and annihilation.

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast celebrated in all major Christian churches, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox.

The day is also known as Passion Sunday in recognition of the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ final agonizing journey to His crucifixion, the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels.

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