Churches in Garo Hills to live stream Palm Sunday service to lakhs of devotees

Church appeal to devotees to place palm leaves outside doors

TURA: The holiest week in the Christian calendar begins this Sunday, as Christian devotees in their thousands prepare to celebrate Palm Sunday, on April 5th, to commemorate the biblical event when Lord Jesus Christ triumphantly entered the holy city of Jerusalem for the last time before his crucifixion on the cross.

This religious event is marked with church services all across Garo Hills with thousands of devotees taking part with the symbolic waving of palm leaves and offering prayers to remember this historical event.

Sadly, there will be no such religious gathering in churches in view of the ongoing lock down to contain the spread of the Covid-19 corona virus infections in the country.

This is, perhaps, the first time in the history of the church in Garo Hills that the holy week, beginning from Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, will be observed with prayers at home due to the outbreak of disease.

There is good news though, as churches across the region have made elaborate arrangements to live stream the Palm Sunday service to lakhs of people.

The catholic church in the Garo Hills has given a clarion call to devotees to commemorate the religious event by placing palm leaves or branches of either palm, date, or any other leaf outside of their doors to mark the holy occasion.

Auxiliary bishop of Tura, Rev. Fr. C J Jose told The Shillong Times that Palm Sunday service would be telecast live on social media through facebook and youtube.

One of the churches in Tura, the St. Luke Church at Holy Cross will be live telecasting the service on WVM Tura channel https://.www.youtube.com/channel/UCFXYHiHzw5InIoIPxnEbbMQ at 10 O’clock Sunday morning.

The oldest church in Tura, Tura Baptist Church, will also be live steaming the service to devotees across Garo Hills and beyond.

The Garo service at 10:30 AM with Rev. Dr. Wetterfield R Marak will be live streamed on facebook channel https://www.facebook.com/wetterfield.marak.52 while the english worship service by speaker Rev. Nicky N Sangma at 3 PM will be available for viewers to see on https://www.facebook.com/TBCEnglishWorshipService/ and the TBC BYF (5 PM) with Pastor Akim A B Sangma on https://www.facebook.com/youthfellowshiptbc2020/ on the same day.

Palm Sunday is a very important religious event for christians across the world because, according to the Gospels, Jesus Christ rode on a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there laid down their cloaks and small branches of trees in front of him, singing out loud “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.”

The symbolism of the donkey is because it is looked upon as an animal of peace, unlike the horse which is deemed the animal of war. A king would have ridden a horse when he was bent on war and ridden a donkey to symbolize his arrival in peace. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey is symbolizes his entry as the ‘Prince of Peace’ and not as a war-raging king.

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