This special feast celebrates the physical freedom of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt and has been celebrated by the Jewish people for many hundreds of years. The word ‘Passover’ comes from the Hebrew root word "Posach" which means "to pass over". This refers to the Angel of Death "passing over" the homes of the Hebrews and instead went into the homes of the Egyptians and killed the first-born son in each Egyptian family as a punishment for not allowing the Hebrews to leave Egypt as a free people.
As a result, the Pharaoh sent this message to Moses and Aaron
"Make haste; get out of the land; take everything that you have; leave nothing. And pray to your God to have mercy upon us, and to do us no more harm."
In the time of Jesus, he wanted to celebrate this feast with His friends in the city of Jerusalem.
Palm Sunday, the final Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week, is known as such because the faithful will often receive palm fronds which they use to participate in the re-enactment of Christ's arrival in Jerusalem. In the Gospels, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a young donkey, and to the lavish praise of the townspeople who threw clothes, palms or small branches, in front of him as a sign of homage.
This was a customary practice for people who were greatly respected.
Palm branches are widely recognized as a symbol of peace and victory.
Jesus’ decision to ride on a donkey instead of a horse is highly symbolic, because it represents the humble arrival of someone in peace, as opposed to arriving on a steed in war.
There is a particularly long gospel on this Sunday, when the Passion of Jesus Christ is read usually by different readers. The priest reads the words of Jesus.
As parishioners enter Church they are invited to take a palm, which may be fashioned into the shape of a cross. During the Palm Sunday Mass, these palms are blessed and parishioners are encouraged to take them home. Those palms that are left are not discarded, instead, they are burned to create the ashes that will be used in the following year's Ash Wednesday observance.
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
"Hosanna to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Hosanna in the highest heaven!"