Chicago celebrates Palm Sunday as Lent ends, Holy Week begins

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After two years of a pandemic, with many faith-based organizations having limited or streaming services, this year's Holy Week for Chicago's faithful and religious leaders holds even more meaning and powerful reflection leading up to Easter.

Across the city, Palm Sunday marked the final week of Lent and the beginning of Christian Holy Week.

A Palm Sunday procession in Buena Park at Saint Mary of the Lake and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish involved 20 men carrying two 4-feet-fall statues of Jesus and Mother Mary for a mile throughout the neighborhood.

For practicing Christians, this day also marks Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem.

"This is the time where they went and walked when Jesus was coming into town," Isaac Zuniga said.

At the Cook County Jail Sunday, a group of dozens of people marched for two miles around the correctional facility with palms in their hands.

RELATED: What do Christians celebrate on Palm Sunday?

March organizers said this procession both celebrates Palm Sunday while offering prayers for peace and healing for "all affected by the criminal justice system."

"Being in jail is an experience that's extremely isolating. It's extremely traumatizing," said Emily Cortina, outreach and formation coordinator with Kolbe House Jail Ministry.

The Kolbe House Jail Ministry, joined by supporters and some family members of those currently incarcerated, to share the message of Palm Sunday and instill faith and belief of change for those behind bars.

"One of our guiding scriptures, I called 'the houses' when Jesus says, 'I was in prison and you visited me,' right? So, we really believe that when we go and visit folks who are detained here in Cook County Jail, we are not just hoping to bring Jesus -- bring the gospel -- but we're meeting Jesus there," Cortina said.

Marchers paused at different locations around the jail with the hope inmates catch a glimpse of the support waiting for them on the outside.

"It's extremely meaningful for the folks on the inside, and there's many who know that we're walking today and they'll be trying to get any glimpse they can of the street so they can see us walking by," Cortina said.

Next Sunday, for those who will celebrate mass virtually, Holy Name Mass will air at noon on ABC7. You can also watch online or on our ABC7 Chicago streaming app.
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