Long Live Christ the King on Palm Sunday
By Jesús Aguado
With great jubilation, music, and ringing of bells, Sanmiguelenses remember the triumphant arrival of Jesus the Nazarene into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
In San Miguel de Allende, which takes this holiday seriously, there are two processions to celebrate. In them, the main image is that of the Messiah. This holiday is connected with the Friday of Sorrows, celebrated two days before. On this day, especially outside the churches, there are vendors offering woven palms in all kinds of shapes.
The procession at Templo San Francisco
The procession from San Francisco Church has been going on for 25 years. At 9:30am, spectators start gathering at the upper part of calle San Francisco and participants begin descending toward the Church of St Francis of Assisi (Templo San Francisco) at about 9:45am.
Two acolytes head the procession, perfuming the air that will receive the living Christ (reenacted this year by local resident Carlos Ruíz) as he rides a white donkey into Jerusalem, recreating the biblical event. Twelve men follow the Messiah, representing the Apostles, and the procession as a whole is accompanied by people dressed in period clothing.
When Christ arrives at the Templo San Francisco’s door, the man portraying him rides off on the donkey. From there, a statue of a Jesus riding a donkey is carried to the main altar inside the church. The event continues with a mass.
The second procession at the Parroquia
At approximately 10am, a second procession leaves Juárez Park and goes through calle Sollano toward the parish of St Michael the Archangel (the Parroquia), carrying a statute of Our Lord of Triumph, i.e., Jesus riding a donkey. The statue is adorned with palm leaves and flowers, and participants carry a tall cross and candles at the front of the procession, escorted by the parish priest. There is also a marching band that opens the way for the Lord of the Triumph, and this procession also features men dressed as the Apostles following behind.
Even the route itself is a colorful spectacle. Calle Sollano is lined with neighbors carrying palms and colored paper flowers. Chamomile is spread on the ground in preparation for the procession. Purple and red banners hang from several houses.
When the statue of Christ arrives at the Parroquia’s door, the song “Que Viva Mi Cristo” is played. Every time the chorus sings along to the lyrics “viva Cristo Rey,” attendees loudly repeat “Viva!” The event then ends with a mass.
According to Alicia Huerta, the procession’s organizer, this event has been done the same way since 1996. Before that, the procession went from the Parroquia to Cuna de Allende, Terraplén, and Sollano, only to end up again at the Parroquia.
Atención is not responsible for changes in the schedule of these processions.