Monday, April 6, 2009

Alaskan Palm Sunday - Snow and Ice?

By Father Scott Joseph Garrett
Pictures by Becky Chandler

When celebrating Palm Sunday in Dillingham, Alaska, or anywhere in Alaska for that matter, one must be ready for lots of snow and ice. This Palm Sunday, since the sun was out, we decided to go outside for the traditional Palm Sunday procession and entrance.

We had two concerns: (1) slipping and (2) getting hit with frozen pellets while sprinkling the palms (just kidding). However, the Palm Sunday celebration is a bit different in the cold, snow, and ice.

Below are a few pictures as we at Holy Rosary Parish in Dillingham celebrated Palm Sunday, the dramatic entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem and the end of his ministry. Notice that the snow banks are actually higher than the parishioners.

Palm Sunday Begins amidst a slippery path, freezing temperatures, and snow piled six feet high. (CLICK on pictures to make larger).


Hearty Holy Rosary parishioners listen to the opening prayer.


Alaskan parishioners are a little worried about getting doused with holy water when temperatures are well below freezing. I don’t blame them!


You can tell that Walter (altar server in the lead) just loves being an altar server for Holy Rosary. He is having just WAY too much fun. CLICK on the picture to make it larger. This young man just may have a vocation to the priesthood!


The procession begins. Parishioners have to be extra careful walking across the pure ice.


Altar servers hold the door as the congregation bustles out of the snow and ice into Holy Rosary.


Kara and Walter, the two altar servers for Palm Sunday, pay attention and sit quietly as the Passion of Christ is being proclaimed by Aileen Walsh (narrator) and Karen Belleque (voice).


Children normally bring up the gifts.


Another Palm Sunday celebration at Holy Rosary Parish in Dillingham, Alaska. Thank you to all the wonderful parishioners who make it all possible!


Have a prayerful Holy Week and Easter season...Fr. Scott

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