Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. It is a day that marks the first day of holy week.

The color used is red.

It is a movable feast that is observed in a Christian liturgical calendar borrowed from Hebrew Lunisolar calendar which therefore occurs on a different date in different years.

Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical gospels

 In most liturgical churches, Palm Sunday is celebrated by the blessing and distribution of palm branches , representing the palm branches which the crowd scattered in front of Christ as he rode into Jerusalem. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including boxolivewillow, and yew. The Sunday was often named after these substitute trees, as in yew Sunday,

Many churches of mainstream Christian denominations, including the orthodox, catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, Moravian and reformed traditions, distribute palm branches to their congregations during their Palm Sunday liturgies.

Christians take these palms, which are often blessed by clergy, to their homes where they hang them alongside Christian art (especially crosses and crucifixes) or keep them in their bibles or devotionals.  

In the accounts of the four canonical gospels, Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes place a week before his resurrection. Only the gospel of john shows a timeline of the event, dated six days before the Passover John 12:1.

Christian theologians believe that the symbolism is captured prophetically in the old testament: Zechariah 9:9 “the coming of Zion’s king – see, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey”, which is quoted in the gospels. It suggests that Jesus was declaring he was the king of Israel, to the anger of the Sanhedrin.

According to the gospels, Jesus Christ rode on a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there laid down their cloaks and small branches of trees in front of him, singing part of psalm 118: 25–26 – blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord. We bless you from the house of the lord.

The symbolism of the donkey may refer to the eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, unlike the horse which is the animal of war. A king would have ridden a horse when he was bent on war and ridden a donkey to symbolize his arrival in peace.

Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem would have thus symbolized his entry as the prince of peace, not as a war-waging king. thus there have been two different meanings (or more levels of biblical hermeneutics): an historical meaning, truly happening according to the gospels, and a secondary meaning in the symbolism.

By Imelda Lihavi

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Radio
WP Radio