Waterlooville Christian community celebrates first day of Holy Week with Palm Sunday colt procession through the high street
Worshippers from St George’s Church met outside the Heroes pub before walking together to the church on Hambledon Road.
Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, and is named after the palm branches that were placed in his path.
The day marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent, and comes before Holy Thursday, the day of Jesus’s arrest, the crucifixion on Good Friday, and then Easter Sunday.
Chris Gadd, churchwarden, said: ‘Palm Sunday is the start of what we call Holy Week, and it celebrates Jesus’s entry into Jeraselum.
‘It’s a very important occasion and celebrates his triumphant return.
‘We are preparing ourselves for the week which culminates in Easter Sunday next Sunday.’
The colt, a young horse, was sourced for the procession by a member of the church community.
The animal represents the story of the disciples being sent to get a colt for Jesus’s journey into Jerusalem.
Reflecting on the morning service, Chris added: ‘We had a good turn out, a beautiful day, and the horse behaved itself.
‘This is the biggest week in the Christian year, we spend a lot of time planning for it, and we very much hope our services this week are as well supported as they were today.’
The Stations of the Cross service will take place at 6pm in St George’s Church on April 11, 12, and 13.
The Maundy Thursday Service followed by The Watch will take place at the church at 7.30pm on April 14.
The Good Friday Liturgy including reading of The Passion will take place at 2pm on Good Friday, April 15.
The Eucharist of Easter Day will be held at 8am and 10am on Easter Sunday, followed by the Easter Vigil, lighting of the Easter fire and the first Mass of Easter at 7.30pm.
Chris added: ‘We’d love to see some people in our church this week. This is the first Holy Week for at least two years where we’ve been unaffected by Covid. It would be a wonderful pleasure to see some new faces.
‘Anyone who would like to visit St George’s would be enormously welcome.’