Praying for peace: Christians start holy week with Palm Sunday

Processions held at churches across provincial capital.


Hidayat Khan March 29, 2015
Hundreds said special prayers and chanted Hosanna, which means save, rescue or savior, to express their adoration of God and Jesus Christ.

PESHAWAR: Christians across the city celebrated Palm Sunday with the traditional palm leaves, processions and special prayers at churches, starting early Sunday morning.

Hundreds said special prayers and chanted Hosanna, which means save, rescue or savior, to express their adoration of God and Jesus Christ. They asked God to forgive their sins and prayed for lasting peace and prosperity in the country.

Palm Sunday begins a sacred week in the Christian calendar which includes Maundy or Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and culminates on Easter Sunday, the day believed to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

However, the uncertain security situation meant large processions were not possible on the streets.

People nonetheless managed to gather on the lawns and grounds of churches and entered the place of worship in procession form while holding palm fronds and crosses to recall “the glorious entrance of Jesus to the city of Jerusalem”. Stalls with palm fronds, candles, flowers and wooden crosses, among other things, were set up for visitors at St Michael’s, St John’s and All Saints Church. The historic buildings were also decorated with palm leaves and flowers while hymns were also performed.

There were different prayer timings at various churches with some starting at 8am and others at 10am.

Anglican Catholic Church official Agustin Jacob said Palm Sunday followed the 40-day-long lent, a period of prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter. Jacob told The Express Tribune special prayers were offered at his church for peace and prosperity in the country. “We have asked God to protect the lives of minorities living in the country.”



Waqar Masih, who was offering prayers at church with his family, said they asked God for lasting peace. “Even here, during our religious services, we have to ask for security as there is a fear lingering in the back of everyone’s minds.”

“We have prayed for the forgiveness of our sins, peace in the country and the end of discrimination. We all remembered those who have lost their lives in terrifying bomb blasts in Pakistan.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2015.

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