Read: Holy Week Begins | A Maronite Hosannah Sunday

Holy Week has officially begun as today we celebrate Palm Sunday, commemorating Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem riding atop a donkey, while the crowds waved palms. These same crowds, less than a week later, will cry: “Crucify Him!”

At Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church, Palm Sunday - or Hosanna Sunday as Maronite Catholics tend to call it - is a joyous occasion, “a colorful feast filled with children in dress with candles representing Christ, the Light of the World,” says pastor, Father Pierre Bassil, “We’re re-living that beautiful moment that Christ did 2,024 years ago, we renew it in our hearts.”

The Maronite Church is one of 23 Eastern churches in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. Our Lady of Lebanon is the only Maronite parish within the geographical bounds of the Diocese of Lansing.

Upon Palm Sunday, young Maronite children carry handmade candles adorned with Easter symbols - palms, eggs, and such - during the procession at the beginning of Holy Mass and also during the recessional, around the church, upon the conclusion of the sacred liturgy.

“We’re imitating the Gospel, having the children welcome Christ,” Father Bassil says, “Their welcome was precious. We consider this Hosanna more for the infants, the children, than the adults.”

Though geographically located within the Diocese of Lansing, the Maronite Church in Flint is part of the Eparchy of St. Louis, Missouri.

This is one of two Maronite eparchies in the United States. The other is the Maronite Eparchy of St. Maron, Brooklyn, New York, although their bishop, The Most Reverend Gregory Mansour, actually originates from Flint.

* The parish has a full slate of Holy Week events planned:

* 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Liturgy and Benediction/Stations of the Cross

* 6 p.m. Wednesday, Liturgy and Rite of the Lamp

* 6 p.m. Thursday, Mass Thursday of Mysteries of Washing of the Feet, Adoration and Confession until midnight

* 11 a.m. Friday, Liturgy - Pre-Sanctified Mass

* 6 p.m. Friday, Rite of the Burial of the Cross

* 11 a.m. Saturday, Rite of Forgiveness and Confession

* 5 p.m. Saturday, Resurrection Liturgy

* 10 a.m. Sunday, Resurrection Liturgy