Port of Spain Anglicans, Catholics come together on Palm Sunday

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley, centre, leads a Palm Sunday procession through the streets of Port of
Spain on Sunday. The procession was hosted by Anglican members of the Holy Trinity Cathedral and
joined by Catholic members of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. To the Bishop’s left is Rev

Parishioners of all ages from the Holy Trinity Cathedral showed up to celebrate Palm Sunday in their numbers, joyfully singing as they made their way through the capital streets.

The event, which began at 7.30 am on Sunday, commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and is celebrated by Christians worldwide as it marks the beginning of Holy Week.

Before leaving the church car park on Abercromby Street, Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley and Rev Ferdinand David Pollard blessed the palms, which were made in the form of crosses and given out.

Worshippers then made their way up Park Street and onto Piccadilly then St Paul Street, all while singing hymns.

Residents along the way, who were either doing early-morning chores or awaiting transport to get to the market, joined in the festivities, collecting their palms.

One officer standing near the Mango Rose building safely tucked his palm into a police car before returning to his post.

Residents from Nelson Street looked out their windows waving to the congregation as two members of the church’s choir sang live atop a music van.

Acolyte Kyla-Marie Morris offers a palm cross to PC Kellon Davidson onPiccadilly Street in east Port of Spain, during a Palm Sunday processionhosted by the Holy Trinity Cathedral and joined by the congregration of theCathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday.

When worshippers reached the Riverside Homeless Shelter at Riverside Plaza car park, they greeted the displaced men and women, giving them palms and shaking their hands.

Catholic priest Fr Martin Sirju of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain, and his parishioners were waiting at the Brian Lara Promenade to receive Berkeley’s group with two tables filled with palm leaves.

Both groups embraced each other, blessing the palms together before giving them out to a group of people who gathered. Both men then said a prayer.

Berkeley prayed for those who were struggling, he prayed they would find love and peace. “May they find their way, liberty and God in their daily struggle.”

He asked God to give people discipline, good judgment and to keep law and order in the city and throughout the country. “We pray that our presence in the city may cause your differences to come into being, so those who may behold us may be reminded of their responsibilities and commitment to a God who loves and cares.”

He celebrated the union between both churches, thanking Sirju and his congregation. He ended by once again asking God to bless the capital and in a display of peace and unity, he called on both churches to join in the Lord’s Prayer.

Port of Spain mayor Alderman Chinua Alleyne, centre, joins AnglicanBishop Claude Berkley, second from left, as he leads a Palm Sundayprocession through Port of Spain, hosted by members of The HolyTrinity Cathedral and joined by the congregation of the Cathedral of theImmaculate Conception on Sunday.

Sirju also celebrated the collaboration between both churches. He said they were all baptized in the name of Christ and many Christian denominations professed to share the same beliefs and follow the same scriptures.

“We are all one faith and baptism. We are happily breaking down barriers as we witness two churches coming together to pray.”

“Open their hearts by the grace of the Holy Spirit and help them, protect them from all forms of danger, especially vendors on the streets and those on the promenade, keep them and their families safe, help them to always return home safely.

Remind us all to always do good and have good intentions, let us always promote all that is right.”

After the early-morning blessing, members of the Holy Trinity Cathedral made their way back to the church on Queen Street for Palm Sunday mass.