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Catholics from Hooksett and Allenstown joined together for Palm Sunday. At Holy Rosary Church in Hooksett on Friday, March 22, the confirmation class of ninth-graders presented a passion play. (Leslie Thomas Photo)

Upholding faith - Easter is marked by area churches


A jubilant celebration at Holy Rosary Parish in Hooksett signified the ending of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. On Friday, March 22, the confirmation class of ninth-graders presented a live re-enactment of the stages of Christ called the “Passion Play.”

For many churches, the Sunday before Easter, known as Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday is a celebration that Christians believe to be the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. At the 8:30 morning Mass on March 23, visitors and members picked up their blessed palm frond and filled the pews.

As the service started, several children walked the aisles in the sanctuary waving their palms. For Christians, this sacred service invites them to celebrate Jesus’ life and focuses on the importance of the ministry.

“I still have my palms from when I was younger,” said Sarah White, 14, who has been attending church services since she was 3. “Palm Sunday has always been a day that is a part of me and a family tradition.”

The service was led by the Rev. Edmund Crowley. Every pew was packed, leaving several worshipers to stand along the back wall, where they listened intently to his words and the choir music that echoed throughout the church service.

Denise McFetridge longstanding member of St. John the Baptist parish, said her children enjoy going every year to the Easter celebration for children.

“They love making crafts, and this year they created the jelly bean prayer,” she said.
“This week,” Crowley said, “is the most solemn week of the year.”

Holy Week continues with Holy Thursday, March 28, (Mass of the Last Supper) at 7 p.m., in Suncook at St. John the Baptist Church.

During that Mass, “We will wash the feet of 12 people representing the process,” said Crowley.
On Good Friday, March 29, there will be Stations of the Cross in Hooksett at 3 p.m., and an evening Mass at 7 p.m. On Saturday, March 30, there will be an Easter Vigil Mass at 7 p.m. at St John the Baptist Church. They will commemorate the resurrection of Christ and the readings will focus on creation and new life.

“You will find that the church builds nature around us, with animals being born resembling the resurrection.The Easter season happens in the spring when everything is coming back to life,” said Crowley.

Easter Sunday services will be at 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Holy Rosary Church in Hooksett and a 10 a.m. Mass at St. John the Baptist Church in Allenstown.
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