El Domingo de Ramos

The celebration of Palm Sunday originated in the 4th century in Jerusalem. Originally, it consisted of visiting different sites and – with a reading that explained what had happened in each place and a remembrance of Jesus’ life – celebrating with prayers and sermons. By the 5th century, the celebration included the blessing of palm fronds and a morning procession. It was in the 8th century that the Catholic Church approved calling the day “Palm Sunday.”

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The celebrations begin early on the morning of Palm Sunday in La Antigua, where one of the most popular churches for the blessing of palms is La Merced church. There, those who obtained their palm fronds the previous day (or even that morning) participate in a 9 AM Mass which commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. At the conclusion of the Mass, the blessing of the palms takes place.

Several churches – like the ones in Jocotenango and Santa Ana – hold “Palm Processions” early in the morning. The procession from the church in Jocotenango begins about 6:30 AM and Santa Ana’s starts at 8 AM.

At the Escuela de Cristo and San Felipe de Jesús churches, there are “Live Processions”, that is, theatrical representations in which different personages accompany Jesus through the streets, and His entry into Jerusalem is celebrated with palm branches. These processions begin at 8 AM (Escuela de Cristo) and 8:30 AM (San Felipe de Jesús).

At La Merced church, after the Blessing of the Palms, everything is readied for the procession of the imagen of Jesus. (This particular religious statue is called “Jesús Nazareno de la Reseña.”) This procesión departs the church at 11 AM, and its journey through the streets of La Antigua can only be described as one of the most important events of the Lenten season in La Antigua.

Written by: #QuéPasa#Magazine#Revista

Photo by: Sofía Letona

Translation by: Kevin Cole

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