Palm Sunday

Passover

 

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

 

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!"

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