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Kerala churches crowded on Palm Sunday

Posted on Apr 13 2014 | IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, April 13 : A large number of faithfuls thronged churches across Kerala on the occasion of Palm Sunday.

Christians who constitute nearly a quarter of Kerala's 33 million population ensure they go to the church to take part in the Palm Sunday mass. The not so devout also make it point to attend.

Palm Sunday is celebrated with a lot of reverence as churches distribute palm leaves, freshly cut from coconut trees to commemorate Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem when palm branches were placed on his path, before his arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday.

"I have brought home three palm leaves (these leaves are basically freshly cut tender coconut leaves that spot a yellowish-green colour) and have placed it in front of the picture of Jesus Christ," said Anila Jacob, a home-maker in the state capital.

"Now this remains there till the coming Christmas season, when it's given back to the church who will use these to make the bonfire," Jacob added.

Incidentally, senior bishops and heads of the various churches in the state lead the Palm Sunday mass on this day.

The busy Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also spend more than two hours and was seen holding palm leaves in his hand at his home parish in Puthupally in Kottayam and took part in all the activities of the Palm Sunday mass.

In Kerala, the Catholics with a population of 3.7 million are a dominant group followed by the Orthodox Church with around 2.5 million. Congregations of the Jacobites, Mar Thoma, the Church of South India and the Pentecostal Churches make up the rest.

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