What is Palm Sunday? The meaning and origin of Palm Sunday (9 things to know)

What is Palm Sunday? The meaning and origin of Palm Sunday (9 things to know)

Palm Sunday is also called Passion Sunday. The name Palm Sunday comes from the memory of Jesus' glorious entry into Jerusalem, with the people holding palms and applauding (John 12:13). It is called Passion Sunday because the Passion is recited on this day.

According to the official document Paschales Solemnitatis talks about the celebration of holidays related to Easter: Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, linking the prediction of the glorious procession with the proclamation of the passion of Jesus .

The connection between these two events of the Paschal Mystery is revealed, the celebration of this day and its doctrine are explained.

Palm Day usually falls on the Sunday before Easter about a week. According to the Western Church, this holiday must always fall on one of the 35 days between March 15 and April 18. Palm Sunday 2024 will be on March 24, 2024. 7 days later is Easter on March 31, 2024.

1. Meaning of Palm Feast:

– First of all, Palm Sunday is the commemoration of Jesus' solemn entry into Jerusalem before his suffering and death.

That event shows us that Jesus knew that his hour had come, knew what he had to do and that he voluntarily entered death to bring about salvation, like a grain of sorghum that died to give birth to new life. He sacrificed himself to fulfill the Father's will.

Therefore, many times before, the Jewish opponents plotted to kill Him, such as stoning Him or pushing Him into the abyss, but they could not do anything, because His hour had not yet come.

And many times the people gathered together to crown Him as king, but He fled to another place just because His hour had not yet come.

– The second intention of Palm Sunday is a holiday to honor Christ the King. This was the first time during His earthly life that Jesus agreed to let the people hail Him as King: "Hosanna and blessings to the One who comes in the name of the Lord." Hosanna in the heavens.” He entered Jerusalem, the king's city, in royal style, and it was because of this royal style that He was sentenced to death.

His judgment was written in three languages, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.” Therefore, even though He was sentenced to death with a brutal and humiliating torture, nailed to the Cross, his hands and arms stretched naked, the Gospels all record His royal appearance as a starting point. a new kingdom.

The kingdom of truth and life, the kingdom of love and peace as he said before Pilate: "I was born and came into this world to testify to the truth. Whoever respects the truth listens to My voice.”

So Palm Sunday gives us another opportunity to declare our faith in the King of kings, the King of heaven and earth, especially the King of all hearts.

– With the third meaning, Palm Sunday reminds us that living in the world is about confronting suffering, because Palm Sunday leads us into the passion of Jesus, preparing us to contemplate painful death. His mercy on Calvary.

When we agree to carry our cross and follow Jesus' footsteps, we also share His burden and follow His example to carry the cross, but the important thing is not to carry it in mourning but in hope. hope. Because with Jesus, suffering and death do not drive people into a dark alley, but rather lead them to the glory of the day of resurrection.

2. An important point of this day is the palm procession before Mass. Why do we do that?

Document Paschales Solemnitatis says: According to tradition, the commemoration of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem is celebrated with a solemn procession, with everyone singing following the example of Jewish children chanting Jesus in unison: "Holy, holy, St! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

The leaf procession is carried out before Mass, possibly on Saturday or Sunday evening. The leaves are blessed and everyone holds them in the procession, remembering the moment when Jesus gloriously entered Jerusalem.

3. Must I use palm leaves or coconut leaves?

It is not necessary to use palm leaves or coconut leaves. Other types of branches and leaves can be used. The procession of leaves commemorating Jesus' entry into Holy Jerusalem is a joyful procession, everyone holds the blessed leaves, then takes them home.

4. Is there a need to guide parishioners?

Very needed. Parishioners should be instructed about the meaning of the procession so that they understand the importance of the procession. This is an occasion for them to be reminded that they need to participate in the procession to honor the Son of God.

Leaves are blessed and kept, but do not consider them as “amulet” or consider them to be able to cure diseases, exorcise evil spirits, or prevent disasters, as this is superstition. . That leaf is kept at home to express faith in Christ as the Messiah, the Savior, the Second Person of God.

5. What did Jesus do while entering the Holy City?

Jesus is the King of kings but very humble. He rode a donkey into the Holy City, proving that He was the King. From now on, let's pay attention: Jesus is truly king. He wants His path and His actions to be understood so that the Old Testament promises are fulfilled in Him…

The Bible clearly states: “Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Zion! Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem! For behold, your King is coming to you: He is the Righteous, the Victorious, sitting humbly on a donkey, a colt following its mother” (Zer 9:9).

He was King, but He had no intention of raising an army or plotting to overthrow the Roman government. His power is in the poverty of God, the peace of God, the power that has salvation.

6. What does the crowd's reaction indicate?

The crowd hailed Jesus, proving that they recognized Him as the Messiah. They spread their cloaks for Him to pass by, following the Israeli tradition, like when the people honored Jehu: "They hastily took their cloaks and spread them on the top of the steps, at his feet. They blew their horns and shouted: Jehu is king!” (2 Kings 9:13). The disciples' actions were an act of enthronement according to the tradition of King David, demonstrating their hope in the Messiah.

The group that came to Jerusalem with Jesus was caught in the enthusiasm of the disciples. They spread their cloaks on the road as Jesus passed, they broke off branches and leaves, waving and cheering: "Hosanna!" Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming dynasty, the reign of our father King David. Hosanna in the heavens!” (Mark 11:9-10; cf. Ps 118:26).

7. What does the word “Hosanna” mean?

Pope Benedict XVI explained: The origin of this word is a request, such as: "Please come to our aid!". The priests repeated this prayer on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles, circling the altar seven times, as a supplication for rain. The Feast of Tabernacles gradually changed from a feast of prayer to a feast of praise, a cry of joy.

To worship Jesus, this word also implies the Messiah. When chanting "holy, holy, holy", we see the complex emotions of the crowd following Jesus and his disciples into the Holy City: Joyful blessings, hoping for the coming of the Messiah, looking forward to the Kingdom of God. -vis, especially the Kingdom of God comes so that the nation of Israel can be restored.

8. Just a few days later, the same crowd that welcomed Jesus demanded that Jesus be crucified?

All four Gospels make it clear that respect for Jesus when He entered Jerusalem was shown, but not all were residents of Jerusalem. Saint Matthew said: “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in an uproar, and people asked each other, ‘Who is this?’. The people answered: 'The prophet Jesus, of Nazareth, of Galilee' (Mt 21:10-11).

People heard that there was a prophet from Nazareth, but Jesus was not very important to Jerusalem, so people did not know who He was. The crowd paying homage to Jesus at the entrance to Holy Jerusalem was not the crowd demanding His crucifixion.

9. How is the account of Jesus' passion?

The Paschales Solemnitatis document says: The passion narrative occupies a special position. This narrative – the Passion – should be sung or recited according to tradition, meaning that three people perform the Passion: One person plays the role of Jesus, one person tells the story, and one person plays the other roles.

When reciting the Passion, there are no candles or incense, nor the sign of the Cross. For spiritual benefit, the Passion should be published in full.