Coronavirus: ‘Hosanna, hosanna’ replaced with ‘stay inside, stay inside on locked down Palm Sunday
Christians in Ghana are marking in a most unusual way, a usual Christian observation of Palm Sunday, a day to celebrate Jesus Christ’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
It is a day usually marked with church members, especially orthodox, marching in the streets to the sound of brass band and waving of palm branches.
A celebration marked since 1400 when Christianity got a foothold in Ghana, eventually overthrowing traditional religions.
After centuries of the annual Palm Sunday celebrations, the 2020 edition is the quietest ever version of the celebration.
And it is because of the novel coronavirus – an infectious sickness that has triggered an unprecedented ban on public gatherings and an even more unparalleled lockdown of parts of the country.
In all 16 regions of the country, no group is allowed to gather publicly while in three cities and several towns, everyone is encouraged to stay home.
Palm Sunday has been circumscribed.
The Head Pastor of the Trinity Chapel of the Global Evangelical Church at Kotobabi in Accra in a live sermon said it was the first time he was celebrating Palm Sunday without a congregation.
“For the first time in my life, we are celebrating Palm Sunday in our homes instead of the church. It tells you that when Christ comes, it will be an individual affair,” he said.
On social media, a poster has been circulating urging Christians to hang a palm branch by their homes “as we enter the holiest of weeks.”
The ban is to last for a month, beginning March 16 and April 15 the lockdown is to last two weeks, from March 27 expire on April 13.
But with border closure extended by another two weeks, an extension of the lockdown and ban of public gatherings would seem imminent.
Ghana has recorded 214 cases with news of the last nine breaking on Palm Sunday.
On the day when Christians would be shouting ‘hosanna, hosanna’, the refrain today is ‘stay inside, stay inside’.