Some Christians in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Sunday celebrated Palm Sunday indoors in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive against public gatherings.
The News Agency of Nigeria observed that few families placed palm fronds and other branches outside their doors as a symbol that it was Palm Sunday.
John Odoh of Dakwo District told NAN that he placed the palm frond in front of his home as a reminder to others that in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was Palm Sunday.
Odoh said: “The palm is just a symbol announcing to the world that we should forget the Coronavirus for a second and celebrate Jesus as He enters Jerusalem.
“There has been too much gloom since this lockdown was declared so today, I decided that we will have some cheer in the house.
“This has really brightened the children’s day as you can see they are playing with their palms.
“So, at least for today, it will be discussions on Palm Sunday and Holy Week and not COVID 19.”
Rahima Yakubu also told NAN that she placed the branch in front of her door to represent the procession she would have taken part in if not for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Yakubu said: “I really miss the Palm Sunday procession.
“I couldn’t even get palm fronds around me so I have to resort to this tree branch.
“Ordinarily, I will get from the church because the youths will cut some and bring for parishioners to take from, but thanks to Coronavirus pandemic, this is not so this year.”
She, however, said in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic, she would use the Holy Week to help her neighbours to do their chores and also share her food with them.
For his part, Alex Ubani told NAN that he placed one palm frond in front of his home and one inside as his family watched a live telecast of the mass from Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Procathedral.
Ubani said: “We joined Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama at the procathedral through the live telecast and his sermon was comforting as he encouraged us to spread peace not war.
“The call of the Archbishop is apt because there are several conspiracy theories concerning this Coronavirus pandemic, which creates a lot of fear and worry.
“If you dwell on the theories, you will have no choice but wish bad for people from a certain part of the world.
“So his sermon reminds us that in all the crisis, we are still Christians.
“I also hope that government will heed his advice to use the funds donated by people judiciously and also extend the palliatives to more Nigerians because a lot of people are in need now.”
Ubani appealed to Nigerians to desist from spreading fake news about the virus, particularly during the Holy Week.
NAN reports that Palm Sunday is celebrated to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey, where palm branches were placed for the donkey to walk on.
It marks the beginning of the Holy Week, which is the final week of the Lenten Season.