Palm Sunday Crosses and Coronavirus Pandemic Memorial at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

Last year, with the palm crosses for Palm Sunday 2020, already purchased and delivered to Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, the question was ‘what will we do with them?’

The Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, fastened them to the railings at the Cathedral gates to announce the start of Holy Week, where they remained throughout the week.

Palm Sunday at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral 2020 Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Many passers-by assumed, however, that the crosses were a memorial to those who had already died of Covid-19 around the world. One said ‘You will have to do this every Palm Sunday now, not just for Holy Week, but as a memorial to those who have died during this pandemic.’ The seeds of a tradition were sown.

And so, in 2021, the tradition has been continued. Announcing Palm Sunday and Holy Week while church buildings are closed for public worship, but also again as a memorial to those who have died in the Coronavirus Pandemic, the crosses have been tied again to the Cathedral railings.

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