What to Know About Palm Sunday

We decided to share some interesting facts about Palm Sunday courtesy of NCRegister.


1. The day is called Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday.
‘Palm Sunday’ comes from the fact that it commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the crowd had palm branches (John 12:13).
‘Passion Sunday’ comes from the fact that the narrative of the Passion is read on this Sunday (it otherwise wouldn’t be read on a Sunday, since the next Sunday is about the Resurrection).


2. There is typically a procession before Mass.
The commemoration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem has, according to ancient custom, been celebrated with a solemn procession, in which the faithful in song and gesture imitate the Hebrew children who went to meet the Lord singing “Hosanna.” The palms or branches are blessed so that they can be carried in the procession.



3. What does the word “Hosanna” mean?
Originally this was a word of urgent supplication, meaning something like: Come to our aid! But as the Feast of Tabernacles gradually changed from a feast of petition into one of praise, the cry for help turned more into a shout of jubilation.
We find in it an expression of the emotions of the pilgrims accompanying Jesus: joyful praise of God at His entry, hope that the hour of the Messiah had arrived, and a prayer that the Davidic kingship and hence God’s kingship over Israel would be reestablished.


4. What was Jesus doing at the Triumphal Entry?
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explains: Jesus claims the right of kings…The use of an animal on which no one had yet sat is a further pointer to this. Most striking are the Old Testament allusions that give a deeper meaning to the whole episode. Let us note this: Jesus is indeed making a royal claim. He wants his path and his action to be understood in terms of Old Testament promises that are fulfilled in his person.


5. Is the crowd that cheered Jesus’ arrival the same one that demanded his crucifixion days later?
The crowd that paid homage to Jesus at the gateway to the city was not the same crowd that later demanded his crucifixion. This is made clear in Matthew’s account: “When he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying: Who is this? And the crowds said: This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee” (Mt 21:10–11). People had heard of the prophet from Nazareth, but he did not appear to have any importance for Jerusalem, and the people there did not know him.

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