Today marks Palm Sunday in the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt. The events start on the eve of the day. Copts weave palm fronds into crosses, hearts, colts, and little trinkets and rings for children, and decorate them with flowers. They then flock to church for the festive Vespers services that feature joyful Palm Sunday melodies singing of Jesus’s triumphal entry in Jerusalem. The following day Palm Sunday Mass is celebrated. Churches are usually packed with a happy congregation; the day is among the most joyful in the year.
Once Palm Sunday festivities end at around noon, Passion Week starts. Churches replace their usual red sanctuary drapes with black ones; columns are also draped in black ribbons. The Pascha (literally Passover) services with their traditional sad, plaintive, protracted melodies are held three times a day for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Saturday of Light or Joy are each marked with their special rituals. Again churches are packed with worshippers; the week is widely regarded as the most sacred in the whole year, and ends with rejoicing in the Resurrection on Easter Eve.
5 April 2015