Palm Sunday is the last Sunday before Easter, and it marks the official start of Holy Week.
On Palm Sunday, we remember the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem before He was crucified. As a remembrance of that special day in the life of Jesus, process into the temple with blessed Palms. As the Priest enters the temple, the faithful wave the palms. Also, on this Sunday, the Passion of Christ is proclaimed.
It is a popular tradition since the palms are blessed that you take them home as a sign of our King and Saviour Jesus’ victory or return them to the parish as they use them for Ash Wednesday next year.
Origins of Palm Sunday
The origins of this celebration are biblical. Jesus asked the disciples to bring him a donkey, and he rode it while entering the city of Jerusalem. It was common for kings and important people to arrive by procession riding on a donkey. As the people realized that he was coming through, they grabbed palm trees and waved at Him, shouting and praising him as their King and Savior.
This was not a coincidence; it was written in the Old Testament, found in the book of Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
This prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament in the gospel of John 12:12-16.
When the great crowd that had come to the feast heard
that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out:
“Hosanna! “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel.”
Jesus found a donkey and sat upon it, as is written:
Fear no more, O daughter Zion;
see, your king comes, seated upon donkey’s colt.
Every year we remember Jesus’ journey to Calvary. We accompany Him on the painful but glorious journey to Salvation. Palm Sunday is an invitation to recognize who Jesus is for us. Our Saviour and King. He willingly and humbly died to save us from our sins and redeem what the world and the evil had taken from us. It is no coincidence that the crowds were shouting “Hosanna,” which means “save now,” reflecting on their own need for salvation and affirming that only Jesus, the Messiah, could save us all.
Palm Sunday is special because it prepares us for what we will experience the rest of the week with the Passion of Christ. Christ Kingship was not pretentious; it was ruled by Love, for Love and the Glory of his Father. I hope that this Palm Sunday, you can open up the gateway of your heart to Jesus to receive Him with palms and gratitude that He died so you could be free.