KODIYET" (FLAG HOISTING):- Ten days before the feast two arecanut palm flag masts, one each from Puthuppally and Ericadu hamlets are brought to Puthuppally junction and; from there they are carried to the church in a ceremonial procession by a large crowd of all hues with traditional orchestral accompaniments. Both the flag masts are erected in front of the church; the flags are blessed and hoisted by the priest and hailed by the large crowd present. The next ten days are very hectic. "Chendamelam" (traditional orchestral drum beatings), "Kathinaveddi" (native cannon shots) at the foot of the flag masts, daily morning Qurbana (the holy mass), "Sandhyanamaskaram" (evening prayers) in the church and; in between, other allied programs in the church premise are the salient feature during these days.
The paddy fields in front of the church are usually flooded in May. Thousands of wick lamps are lit up and floated in coconut shells in these waters on the evening of May 6th before the processions. It is like a galaxy on water. The feast ends up with display of fire works soon after the procession. The fire work is a grand display of light, sound and colour enjoyed by thousands of devotees.
Thousands participate in the main feast on 7th May. After the holy mass, it is customary to provide meals to the devotees (Vechoot). Devotees bring children on this day for their first rice feed at the hands of priests (Adya choroonu). After "Raza" (cermonial procession) in the afternoon "Nercha Vilampu" (rice flour bread and chicken distribution) is done. As per age old practice devotees bring live fowls as offerings particularly during this feast. Chicken is prepared out of the same and served along with the appam brought as offerings by the devotees. Fire wood for preparation of the above items is offered and collected from Puthuppally and Ericadu hamlets and brought in ceremonial procession to the church exactly in the same way as the flag masts are brought. This is known as "Virakideel". The cooking starts in the early hours of the main feast day.
The gold cross is taken out and after traditional prayers and rites; it is placed on the main altar after holy mass on 6th May. On the same day evening processions from the "Kurisin Thotty" (Cross Towers) at Kochalummoodu and Parackal Kadavu proceed towards Puthuppally church and reach there at about 8:00 PM. From there a larger procession of devotees carrying Wooden cross, Gold cross, Silver crosses, Muthukudas (Artistic umbrellas), Flags, Lit up candles etc with traditional orchestral accompaniments is taken out. The procession passes through Kuttenchirapaddy, Nilackal pallypaddy and reaches the "Kurisin Thotty" at Puthuppally junction, where prayers are held, reaches Puthuppally pally at about 09:00 PM and ends up with prayers and blessing. It is worthwhile to mention that during the above procession, the people of all hues and creeds enroute greet it in front of their houses / shops with lit up wick lamps and candles before an intercessor’s photo and; they are blessed by the main priest in the procession.
We at Puthupally Pally in Todays Sandvanam Prayers are Offering Special Prayers for - John Thomas(Kuwait),Deena Thomas,Titty Alex,Preethi Sibi,Cyril,Jibi Joseph,Santhamma,Digi Binu,Binu,Cibya (USA),Remaya,Joseph John,Vinitha Kurian (Tuticorin),Neena,Anu Ann,Andrew Varghese,M.P.Varkey,Annamma,Jinu Philip,Shinymol,Nikil Chandy,Rev.Fr.P.K.Mathew (Canada),Ponnamma Mathew (Canada),Githu Mathew (Dubai),Elizabeth,Achiamma,Thomas Alexander,Libin,Ponnamma,K.C.Mathew (Dubai),Achiamma,Shinoy (England),Sheeja (England),K K Appu,Leena Varghese,Alexy Kuriakose,Anil Kumar,Sibin,Ham Varghese,Deepa Ham,Biju Cyriac,T.S.Biju,Girish Babu,Reji Kumar,Jayachandran,Rajesh Kumar,Mathew Philip,John Abraham,Ginu Kuruvilla,Roy (Markose),Bibin Roy,P K Chacko,Mathew Chacko,Deepu,Molamma,Syrina,Delvin,Rajamma,Seenu,Kunjamma,Sanjay Mathew,Jini & Children,Ranjhen Jose (Canada),Marykutty,Babu.
Sandvanam Prayers on 2nd and 4th Sundays at Puthuppally Pally.