Palm Sunday 2011

17th April 2011

Palm Sunday Mass in OLI starts in the playground, followed by a procession into church.  

Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday) is the sixth, and last Sunday of Lent.   It celebrates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem for the Jewish Festival of Passover. Great crowds of people lined the streets waving palm branches to welcome him. The people were very excited. They spread branches on the road – and even laid down their clothes. They shouted ‘Hosanna!’ which means ‘Save us now!’

Palm Sunday is also the starting point of Holy Week, and as the week progresses, we have the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper (Maundy Thursday), the Good Friday Liturgy, the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday), and then Easter Sunday.  

During our liturgy on Palm Sunday, we use the Palm Sunday Story to help us think about the strength of our own commitment to our faith. We are encouraged to think about times when we have been unfaithful to Christ, or been hypocritical in proclaiming our support.

In Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, members of the congregation hold small crosses made of palm leaf or the leaves themselves, both to remember the palm leaves which the people of Jerusalem waved when Jesus arrived, and to remember the cross on which he died.   We are then encouraged to display the crosses from that service in our homes during the year as a symbol of our faith. The crosses or palm leaves are then burned at the start of Lent the next year to provide the ash for Ash Wednesday.