Palm Sunday, the First Day of Holy Week

Be reminded of the reason for the Easter season – CHRIST’S RESURRECTION

Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter.

Palm Sunday is a Christian festival. It is always happens on a Sunday but the date each year changes. It is a day to celebrate the day that Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem in Israel as was written about in the Bible. During Palm Sunday many Christians celebrate with Crosses made out of Palm leaves and by going to church. Palm Sunday is now called officially Passion Sunday.

Many Christian churches mark Palm Sunday as the beginning of Holy Week which ends on Easter Sunday. It is an event celebrated by some churches by cutting branches of palm trees and attending mass. Palm Sunday is celebrated by most Christian churches all over the world including Roman Catholics and Protestants. However, Orthodox churches observe Palm Sunday at a later date following the Julian calendar, and it is called Willow Sunday.

In some countries, palm leaves that were blessed during mass are displayed on the door of their houses believing that it will also bring blessings to their household. Some churches traditionally gather the palm leaves to be burned and used during the Ash Wednesday services.

The Story

The story of Palm Sunday is told in the Gospel of Matthew, book 21, chapters 1-17 (Matthew 21:1-17). The gospel tells the story of Jesus’ triumphant ride into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey.

As Jesus and his disciples walked towards Jerusalem, he sent two disciples ahead, telling them to find a donkey and a colt. The disciples brought the animals, laying their cloaks on the donkey so that Jesus could ride. As he rode towards Jerusalem, people laid cloaks and palm branches on the road in front of him, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” When he entered Jerusalem, a huge crowd welcomed him, waving palm leaves and shouting “Hosanna,” because they supported Jesus and his message. Arriving at the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus healed the blind and the sick.

Jesus understood that, following God’s plan, this was to be his last trip into Jerusalem.

People laid down palms in front of him as a sign of honor.

Jesus’ actions including sending disciples ahead for a donkey and his response to the priests was to point out that what was happening was part of God’s promise.