Sunday, April 13, 2014

12 Things About Palm Sunday

People waiting for the Palm blessing outside Baguio Cathedral.
People waiting at the Baguio Cathedral Square for the solemn blessing of Palms.

  • It marks the beginning of Holy Week.
  • It originated in Jerusalem around the late fourth century (between 378 and 394) where the early Palm Sunday ceremony consisted of the clergy reciting prayers, hymns and sermons that they would read from the gospels concerning the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. In the early evening the clergy would return to the city while reciting "Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord" and children carry palm and olive branches as the people returned through the city back to the church and they would hold evening services.
  • The Palm Sunday celebration had spread as far as Constantinople by the fifth century and changes made in the sixth and seventh centuries resulted in two new Palm Sunday tradition.
  • The two changes which are (1) the ritual blessing of the palms and (2) a morning procession instead of an evening one, were later adopted by the Western Church in the eighth century and the celebration received the name Dominica in Palmis, Dominica or Dies Palmarum.
  • During the biblical times, the regional custom called for kings and nobles arriving in procession to ride on the back of a donkey and it is a symbol of peace or those who rode upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions while the laying of palm branches indicated that the king or dignitary was arriving in victory or triumph.
  • Commemoration of the triumphal entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-9) following His glorious miracle of resurrecting Lazarus from the dead.
  • Referred as Palm Sunday because of the palms that were placed in His path.
  • Other names for the Feast are Passion Sunday, Sunday of the Passion, Yew Sunday, Branch Sunday, Entry of the Lord Into Jerusalem.
  • The biblical story of Palm Sunday can be found in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; and John 12:12-19.
  • The triumphal entrance was prophesied some 450-500 years earlier by the Prophet Zechariah, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).
  • The prophecy of Prophet Zechariah was fulfilled according to the Gospels with Jesus riding on a  donkey into Jerusalem and the celebrating people laid down their cloaks in front of Him while singing part of Psalm 118: 25–26.
  • Palm Sunday is an occasion for a reflection regarding the agony of Passion and the joy of Resurrection in the life of Jesus Christ.
2014 Palm Sunday Schedule at Baguio Cathedral
2014 Palm Sunday schedule at Baguio Cathedral. Noticed the Anticipated Palm Sunday in anticipation of the throng of people that will attend the mass and because Baguio is a tourist destination.

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