April 9, 2017;
The Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday. It marks the end of Lent and celebrates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover.
On this Sunday we commemorate a day of both triumph and tragedy. There is the joy of Jesus entering Jerusalem and getting an enthusiastic welcome from the crowds. Great crowds of people lined the streets waving palm branches to welcome Him. The people were very excited. They spread branches on the road and shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” These are words that we continue to sing during the Eucharistic Prayer at every Mass.
On Palm Sunday, many churches have a procession in or around the church while people sing songs of praise and hold palm leaves. This is to help us imagine what Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem might have been like. But the picture very soon changes to darkness, to suffering and death as Holy Week begins.
Palms will be blessed at all Masses on Palm Sunday.