Palm Sunday: Welcoming Jesus from the Beginning to Eternity
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Palm Sunday: Welcoming Jesus from the Beginning to Eternity

Palm Sunday marks the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, where he was greeted by chanting crowds waving palm leaves according the Bible. Palm leaves were also substituted by yew, fronds and willow which the same Sunday was designated as Branch Sunday or Yew Sunday. Palm Sunday marks the first day of the Holy Week that ended on Easter Sunday. Orthodox Christians mark Palm Sunday next week.

PALM SUNDAY: WELCOMING JESUS FROM THE BEGINNING TO ETERNITY

Palm Sunday marks the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, where he was greeted by chanting crowds waving palm leaves according the Bible. Palm leaves were also substituted by yew, fronds and willow which the same Sunday was designated as Branch Sunday or Yew Sunday. Palm Sunday marks the first day of the Holy Week that ended on Easter Sunday. Orthodox Christians mark Palm Sunday next week.

The First Palm Sunday

According to the Gospel, Jesus was riding a donkey where the cheering crowds carrying palm leaves and tree branches laid their cloaks and the branches in front of him. The donkey symbolizes an animal of peace according to the eastern tradition while the horse symbolizes an animal of war. Kings rode horses to go on a war, while Jesus rode on a donkey when he wanted to point out that he was coming for peace. Palm Sunday symbolizes the coming of the Prince of Peace.

The crowds are chanting part of the Psalms 118: 25-26;

25 LORD saves us! LORD grants us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.

   From the house of the LORD we bless you.

Palm Sunday at Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, Palm Sunday at the Holy Land was celebrated by holding masses and processions remembering the triumphant entry of Jesus by hundreds of Christian pilgrims. The day events began with a high mass at the church of Sepulcher, revered as the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. Hundreds of devotees and clergy waved palm and olive branches and lit candles.

A service was also held in the Nativity Church, built atop Jesus’ traditional birthplace.

Palm Sunday at the Vatican

The present pope, Pope Benedict XVI has started the Catholic Church’s Holy Week celebration with Palm Sunday Mass with the good news from Mexico and Cuba. Cuba has agreed to the popes’ request to make Good Friday a holiday – the day marks the solemn commemoration of the death of Christ.

Pope Benedict traveled into St. Peter’s square at the start of the Palm Sunday Mass and inaugurates Holy Week.

Palm Sunday Philippines

The Roman Catholic Filipinos mark Palm Sunday with piety and meditation on the Passion of Christ, not on superstitious beliefs. There were processions held at early in the morning.

Procession on Palm Sunday

Every catholic churches is well prepared for the first mass of the day with the worshippers along with their palm fronds (usually young decorated leaves of coconut tree) waiting to be bless by the parish priest.

One common homily of the mass is the remembrance of the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem as the start of the Holy Week.

In every entrance of churches in the Philippines are makers and vendors of palms.

Palm Sunday on April Fools’ Day

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) stated that Palm Sunday, which coincides with the April 1 date with the observance of April Fools’ Day, does not be marked with franks and jokes.

Mssgr. Pedro Quitorio III of the CBCP said that we should not deviate from the message of Palm Sunday and focus on the pagan superstitious practice. April Fools’ Day was originated from the ancient Roman festivals of Fools in the Middle Ages, where people played franks and indulged others in foolishness.

It is a traditional belief that the blessed palms (palaspas) on Palm Sunday can drive away bad spirits. Usually, blessed palaspas are hanged on windows and top of doors of houses believing as a good luck and blessings to the members of the households.

Essence of Palm Sunday

Manila Archbishop Luis Tagle specified that the palm is the symbol of our acceptance of the entry of Jesus to Jerusalem, so let the palm be a reminder that Jesus is coming to our country and home. We must accept Jesus in our hearts, follow his footstep beginning from his entrance to his journey to Jerusalem, his passion and death, till he resurrected and continue by following his teachings till eternity.

Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday but does not end on Easter Sunday, where Jesus met his Virgin Mother and resurrected to the right-hand of the Father. Accepting Jesus in our hearts and following his teachings is an eternal process to meet peace and loving union with the Father.

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Comments (16)

Beautiful and informative article, Ron -- I enjoyed it.

Your article added so much to my Holy Palm Sunday. thank you.

Thanks Graciela and Roberta.

Palm Sunday is always a beautiful service. Thanks for reminding us about the first Palm Sunday.

A very refreshing and inspiring piece of writing, especially for those of us who truly believe.

Thank you, Ron, for sharing this with us.

Palm Sunday on April Fools’ Day - this actually gave me a thought. However, we do not actually observe April Fool's day in the Philippines.

Thank you Ron.  Interesting, informative and beautiful!

Love this article, very inspiring..voted

Really nice post...I can relate to this article.  Though, I didn''t realize the donkey symbolizes an animal of peace.  For sure, Jesus shared a meaningful purpose for everything He did ....very inspirational message here.  Thank for sharing

it is one of the most attended Christian tradition especially in the Philippines

Nice work, Ron

Very informative about Palm Sunday especially in the Philippines. 

Ah, better check the spelling of "begining" (sic), Ron. Actually, some countries incorporate their own "pagan" beliefs with those of Christianity, as mentioned in the article.

very good and Happy Easter to you my friend

Ron, I'm sorry I haven't been able to post...I couldn't get any password to work.  I know you and yours had a blessed Holy Week and this beautifully written article is so appropriate.  He Is Risen!

A great share. Really appreciated. Thank you, dear Ron.

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