Celebrating Palm Sunday: All You Need To Know About This Special Christian Holiday
History of Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week—the week leading up to Easter. It commemorates the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem as its King, a moment that is marked in all four Gospels of the New Testament. Join us as we look back at this triumphant event and explore its significance.
The Bible tells us that Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey, fulfilling an ancient prophecy from the Book of Zechariah. As he rode into town, crowds gathered around him, shouting praises and waving branches from palm trees. In fact, it was this display that gave rise to the name “Palm Sunday.”
Preparation and traditions associated with the holiday
The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday, and observance of the day begins with Christian preparation. Churches are bedecked with palms for palm processions, a key tradition of Palm Sunday. Traditional liturgies will include old hymns and readings from scripture. In some regions, such as Italy and Spain, there are unique customs associated with the event in which blessed olive branches are brought to churches to remember the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. After services, accompanied by the singing of “Hosanna!” many congregants go outside with palms in their hands to make a joyful parade in a reenactment of that historic moment. This stirring gathering provides a colorful and meaningful way to commemorate Jesus’ triumphant entrance as King and subsequent journey towards Calvary. An important date on the Christian calendar, Palm Sunday helps usher in Holy Week and reminds us all to pause and reflect upon Christ’s infinite grace.
The celebration culminates with joyful parades outside churches that remind us all to pause and reflect upon Christ’s grace. As we celebrate this important date on the calendar, may our hearts be filled with joy at remembering this momentous occasion!