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Long Live Christ the King!

By Jesús Aguado

With great jubilation, music, and ringing of bells, Sanmiguelenses remember the arrival of Jesus of Nazarene in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, March 20.

Palm Sunday in this city is reenacted in two processions. In them, of course the main image is that of the Messiah, whose death had been announced. That is why Friday of sorrows is celebrated two days earlier.

The procession on calle San Francisco is not ancient; it has taken place for 22 years. From 9:30am people start gathering at the upper part of calle San Francisco, and at approximately 9:45am participants start descending toward the church of St. Francis of Assisi.

The procession is headed by two acolytes who aromatize the environment that will receive the living Christ (reenacted by Carlos Ruiz) riding a white donkey as happened in Jerusalem. The Messiah is followed by 12 men who represent the apostles, and they are followed by people dressed in clothing of the era. When the Christ arrives at the church door, the man portraying Christ rides off on the donkey. From there, a sculpture of a Jesus riding a donkey is carried to the main altar. The event ends with a mass.

At approximately 10am, a second procession leaves from Juárez Park and goes up calle Sollano towards the parish of St. Michael the Archangel (La Parroquia). The main image of this procession is a sculpture of Our Lord of Triumph, Jesus riding a donkey. The sculpture is adorned with palms and natural flowers. At the front of the procession is a tall cross and candles, followed by the priest from the parish. A marching band opens the way for the Lord of Triumph, followed by men dressed up as apostles.

Calle Sollano is lined by neighbors with palms and colored paper flowers. Chamomile is spread on the ground; purple and red banners hang from several houses.

When the sculpture of Christ arrives at the door of the parish church, the song “Que viva mi Cristois played. This is a fragment of the song: “Que viva mi Cristo, que viva mi rey; que impere do quiera triunfante su ley. Viva Cristo Rey.” Every time the chorus says “Viva Cristo Rey,” the attendees loudly repeat “Viva!” The event ends with a mass.

According to Alicia Huerta, organizer of the procession, this event has been organized the same since 1996; before that, the procession went from the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel to Cuna de Allende, Terraplén, and Sollano, ending up back at the Parroquia.  On this day, especially outside the churches, there are vendors selling woven palms in various shapes.

Atención is not responsible for changes in the schedule of these processions.


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