If you haven’t realized it yet, then I don’t know where in the world you are living but Easter is most certainly on its way and yes that means a whole lot of chocolate for people everywhere. However, what some of you may not have realized is that this Sunday is also a day of reverence in the Christian calendar. This Sunday the 25th of March, is known as Palm Sunday. Hence, we here at Sir Holiday made it our mission to educate ourselves and you, of course, on what Palm Sunday is all about. Therefore, without any further ado, let’s dive right in.
Palm Sunday is the date within the Christian calendar whereby the beginning of the Holy Week in the Christian calendar commences. The week is sacred as it features Good Friday – the day where Jesus Christ was crucified and Easter Sunday the day upon which Jesus Christ awoke from his death. Palm Sunday is the day that Jesus Christ went on a donkey into Jerusalem and the people heralded him with palm leaves and clothes that signified that they were welcoming him, and consequently God, into their lives and hearts. The townspeople reacted to Jesus in much the same way as they would have reacted to royalty or another person who demands great respect.
Palm Sunday is also the day upon which Lent officially ends within the Catholic calendar. The donkey is seen as a token of peace, whereas if Jesus had arrived on a horse it would have been seen in the eyes of the townsfolk as a declaration of war. During mass on Palm Sunday many Catholics and other Christians in church will receive palms, which they will carry into a grand procession into the church. Based on the own churches profession, the church will either burn the palm leaves into ashes for next year’s Ash Wednesday or the people can take them home and keep them until next year when they can return them to burn for Ash Wednesday. It is obviously already decided that these palm leaves will be burnt for Ash Wednesday.
You might be wondering why the palm leaves are not simply thrown away, well part of that reason is that the palm leaves have been blessed and are therefore sacred in the eyes of the church. The colors used in the service on Palm Sunday also have great symbolic meaning. Red and white are the colors that are used for Palm Sunday, these two colors symbolize the sacrifice of Christ’s blood – the red – and the purity that was then granted to humanity through him dying and suffering for the sins of humanity – the white.
The very first Palm Sunday was around 4th century BCE in Jerusalem, it moved into the Western wold a few centuries later. Interestingly enough, the story of Palm Sunday is not limited to one or two of the gospels; rather all four of the books feature the tale due to its importance within the Christian faith.
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