OCMC News - CORRECTED: Palm Sunday in Guatemala!
During Palm Sunday in Guatemala, the clergy lead the faithful in their newfound faith, combining local traditions with the new.
The following update was just sent to us from OCMC Missionary to Guatemala, Fr. John Chakos.
Palm Sunday was a new and very moving experience for me among the Mayan faithful. Of course, the church was packed as usual, but they raise the celebration to a new level with their love of processions and the enormous sizes of the palm crosses, which they wave joyously to the accompaniment of their music. Hundreds processed with us through the whole village singing the festal hymn as we followed the large icon of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It was reminiscent of the joy of the first Palm Sunday, especially that expressed by the children of which there are so many in Aguacate. And even when the Liturgy and procession was over, everyone returned to the church to continue expressing their joy in song. Their sense of anticipation for the remainder of Holy Week was very palpable, even though the Orthodox rituals were unknown to them until recently. This is truly a fertile field for the church, and yet another indication that Orthodoxy can establish firm roots in other cultures and countries.
It is a blessing to see such a vibrant and growing Orthodox Church in Guatemala. They are joined by a growing team of missionaries from the United States. Most recently, they have been joined by OCMC’s newest missionary, Jennifer Rice.
Please join us in praying for our Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters in Guatemala and the missionaries serving there throughout Holy Week!