The Meaning of the celebration of Palm Sunday

The Meaning of the celebration of Palm Sunday

What is the meaning of Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of the Holy Week. meaning palm sunday

It is the Sunday before the great feast of Easter.

Palm Sunday is called as such because in this special Sunday, the faithful are given palm fronds, which sometimes are made into the shape of a cross or ornamented with flowers or other religious articles. The faithful carry the palms while on a ritual procession into the church.

The faithful raise up and jiggle the palms to welcome Jesus in the person of the priest who will celebrate the mass. The procession is accompanied with the singing of “Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to the King of Kings!”

The first Palm Sunday

On that very first Palm Sunday, the Jewish people joyfully welcomed Jesus on his arrival to Jerusalem . As Jesus was passing by riding a donkey, the people did not only jiggle their palms, but they also threw them in front of Jesus as a sign of homage to their King. 

Palms generally means peace and victory, while the donkey was a symbol of humility. Hence, that Palm Sunday, celebrates the arrival of  a peaceful and humble King and not a fierce and arrogant ruler – a King who shall face persecution and death in Jerusalem as an act of saving humanity from sin.

On that Palm Sunday, Jesus received the crowd’s warm welcome and recognition. However, we know what happened next. The joyous crowd who cheered him and gave him homage on his arrival in Jerusalem, days later turned into a raging crowd who accused and persecuted Him to death, death on the cross.

The palms are burnt for the next Ash Wednesday

Because the palms are blessed during the liturgical celebration, they should not be thrown and disposed off like a regular garbage. They are instead kept in the parishioners’ house for a year and returned back to the church on the next lent season. The palms are burnt and the ashes of these palms are blessed and rubbed on the faithful’s forehead during the next Ash Wednesday.

One week closer to Easter

Palm Sunday brings us closer to the greatest feast in the liturgical calendar which is Easter. It is a high time to reflect and  intensify our preparation for Jesus’ return in glory on Easter Sunday. It is a time to reflect on what kind of homage do we give to Jesus.

Do we give him homage both in the joyful and painful moments of our life? Do we welcome him joyfully and stay with Him to the end? Or do we cheer at Him for a moment but later join the raging crowd when we face difficult trials?

 

 

 

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