Lockdown: Mizoram celebrates Palm Sunday behind closed doors

Aizawl, Apr 5 () For the Christian believers acrossthe world, Palm Sunday is a significant day that marks thebeginning of holy week that culminates with Easter Sunday.

But this year it is being celebrated without acongregation due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Mizoram isno exception.

Children from all churches in Mizoram, accompanied bytheir teachers in Sunday school, would take out Palm Sundayprocessions early morning carrying palm leaves, and the chantof Hossana would echo across cities, towns and villages.

For the first time the Christians in the state, liketheir counterparts elsewhere in the world, could not visitchurches and remained indoors due to the ongoing lockdown tocontain the spread of novel coronavirus.Advertisement

Although Palm Sunday was observed within closed doorsas churches are closed across the state, its sanctity as animportant day was visible among the people as in the past,"Synod moderator Rev R. Lalchangliana of the Presbyterianchurch said.

As decided by the respective local churches,programmes of the Palm Sunday celebration this time werechalked out by each local or village level task force,involving local or village council and Young Mizo Association(YMA).

The programmes were arranged in such a manner as toinvolve every household to celebrate the occasion from theirrespective houses.

We chalked out the programmes to ensure that everyhousehold takes part in the celebration by chanting Hossanatogether at a time from their houses, Malsawmkima Ralte, aYMA leader of Luangmual Vengthlang said.

As morning set in, the states anthem (religious song)Ro min rel sak ang che reverberated from the publicinformation centres in various localities.People came out to the porches, verandahs or roof topsof their houses carrying palm leaves while some carried piecesof cloths in place of palm leaf.Advertisement

Once the anthem stopped, a preacher of each localityasked the people to chant Hossana and shout at their topvoices to commemorate the entry of Jesus Christ intoJerusalem.

The chanting of Hossana was followed by a shortsermon by the preacher on a public address system from thepublic information centre.

Speaking on the participation of people, R.Lalchangliana said, It give me immense joy at the response ofthe people even as Palm Sunday processions and church servicescould not be held. My heart melted and tears rolled down mycheek when I heard people from all walks of life, irrespectiveof denominations, chanting Hossana in one voice in this timeof crisis.Advertisement

Lalchangliana, who heads Mizoram Kohhran HruaituteCommittee, a conglomerate of 15 major churches in the state,also thanked the churches for joining hands together incelebrating Palm Sunday.

Commenting on the event, sports minister RobertRomawia Royte said, While it is painful to see all churchesclosed and no processions by children on Palm Sunday, thecelebration on the other hand is indicative of the adaptive,discipline and law-abiding culture of our people.

Mizoram Law Commission chairman Lala Khobung alsoappreciated the manner in which Palm Sunday was celebrated bythe people.Advertisement

The Mizo people are law-abiding citizens. It is agreat thing that Palm Sunday is celebrated by respectivehouseholds by strictly observing social distancing norms, hesaid. CORMM MM

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