Queen of Peace observes Palm Sunday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

In observance of Palm Sunday, the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in downtown Selma follows traditions established thousands of years ago that hold literal and symbolic meaning for the days leading up to Easter.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most solemn week of the year for the Catholic faith, according to Queen of Peace pastor Carroll Plourde.

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The church observes the day with two key events: a processional with palms and Mass.

Plourde said a processional is formed before Mass on Palm Sunday. Church members gather in front of the church while a prayer is said, then Matthew 21 is read. The palm fronds are blessed after prayer, and then church members go around the building holding the fronds and proceed into the church.

After the processional, church members watch a reenactment of the 14 &8220;Stations of the Cross,&8221; called &8220;The Living Stations,&8221; along with a reading of the scriptural narrative. Students of Marion Military Institute in Marion gave the live performance.

They include the major events in the Gospel from Jesus&8217; death sentence by Pilate up to his burial.

In the days following Palm Sunday, the church will be holding several events for Holy Week.

Wednesday, the church will have a solemn meal with Jewish symbols and rituals, led by Hanna Berger, a follower of the Jewish faith.

Thursday, a Mass of the Lord&8217;s Supper will commemorate the institution of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, Plourde said. There will also be an initiation of the priesthood.

For the Good Friday service, everything is taken out of the church, and a scripture service, series of petitions and Holy Communion is held. There is a procession and a veneration of the cross, where church members kiss the cross in recognition of Jesus sacrificing his life for the sins of humans.

Saturday&8217;s service will include the year&8217;s most important vigil, which marks the beginning of Easter season and lasts 40 days, Plourde said.