What is Palm Sunday?

by Kathy Sykes on April 14, 2011 · 0 comments

As a child, Palm Sunday was always excited for me. As most of you know, I grew up Catholic and on Palm Sunday, we would go outside of the church and re-enact Jesus’ trip to Jerusalem. It was usually a beautiful spring day and everyone would have palms in their hands and would be waving them in the breeze.

That is why it made my heart sing with joy when my son came home from school with a palm he had colored and he was chanting…”Hosanna”, “Hosanna”! Those experiences and memories have made me who I am today and I am glad that my son is getting to learn and know the Lord in his own way.

Here is just a brief description of what Palm Sunday is……

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday. The feast commemorates an event mentioned by all four Canonical Gospels (Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19): the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion.

In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves (often tied into crosses) to the assembled worshipers. The difficulty of procuring palms for that day’s ceremonies in unfavorable climates for palms led to the substitution of boughs of box, yew, willow or other native trees. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as Yew Sunday or by the general term Branch Sunday.

According to the Gospels, before entering Jerusalem, Jesus was staying at Bethany and Bethphage, and the Gospel of John adds that he had dinner with Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha. While there, Jesus sent two disciples to the village over against them, in order to retrieve a donkey that had been tied up but never been ridden, and to say, if questioned, that the donkey was needed by the Lord but would be returned.

Jesus then rode the donkey into Jerusalem, with the Synoptic gospels adding that the disciples had first put their cloaks on it, so as to make it more comfortable. The Gospels go on to recount how Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and how the people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees. The people sang part of Psalm 118 – …Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father, David. … (Psalms 118:25-26). Where this entry took place is unspecified; some scholars argue that the Golden Gateis the likely location, since that was where it was believed the Jewish messiah would enter Jerusalem; other scholars think that an entrance to the south, which had stairs leading directly to the Temple, would be more likely (Kilgallen 210).

****Excerpt from Wikipedia*****

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