A small group of Franciscan monks and Roman Catholic faithful have taken to the streets of Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter in the Old City to distribute olive branches after the traditional Palm Sunday procession was cancelled due to restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Palm Sunday celebrations start the Holy Week leading up to Easter.
Worshippers in Jerusalem traditionally carry palm fronds and olive branches and march from the top of the Mount of Olives into the Old City.
While thousands of pilgrims usually participate in the march, this year was limited to a handful of participants.
Clerics and faithful went door to door often throwing the branches to Christians looking on from their balconies.
“This year because of the new situation we are trying to come to all the Christians in our Christian Quarter to bring these branches of olives, the sign of new hope,” said the Reverend Sandro Tomasevic, a Catholic clergyman at the Latin Parish of Jerusalem.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and is the start of the church’s most solemn week, which includes the Good Friday re-enactment of Jesus’ crucifixion and death and his resurrection on Easter.