For 2014, the Palm Sunday falls on 13 April. It is the sixth Sunday of lent season and the last Sunday before Easter. It is known by various other names such as Passion Sunday, Willow Sunday and Flower Sunday.
What Does Palm Sunday Mean?
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event that is mentioned in all four canonical Gospels, according to the Bible.
In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday includes a procession of the worshippers carrying palms, representing the palm branches that were laid out or scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. As the Lord rode into the town on a donkey, exuberant crowns hailed him as the Messiah and spread out palm branches and cloaks in his path, the Bible says.
The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climate led to their substitution with branches of native tress that included box, yew, willow, and olive - the fact that gave rise to alternative names to this day, such as Yew Sunday or Branch Sunday among others as aforementioned.
Story Told in Bible:
The event of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem is told in all four gospels (Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, Jonh 12.) Following is the Matthew narrative, which is commonly read for services on Palm Sunday and it tells the story, according to Religious Facts website:
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away...
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 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!"
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" the crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galillee." (Matthew 21:1-3, 6-11)
Below are the top Seven Interesting Facts to Take Note about Palm Sunday:
- Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week, which is the week before Easter - an event that commemorates the last days of Jesus' life.
- The hero's welcome that Jesus received was during the Jewish Passover celebration. People, who had heard about his miracles, expected him to deliver them from the Roman Empire's domination.
- Palm branches are traditional symbol of victory and that is the reason why they are used.
- Willow is commonly used instead of palm branches in some European countries. They are sometimes placed in the fields to ensure that there will be good yields.
- One of the most notable processions that place during the week is in Spain, particularly in Seville, during the Holy week and start of Palm Sunday. These processions are said to portray the passion of Jesus Christ - which refers to his suffering before his execution.
- In the United States, the term Pascua Florida, which in Spain means 'Palm Sunday' was later applied to mean the festive season of the entire Easter Week. It is said that the state of Florida received its name when Ponce de Leon first sighted the land and named it in 1513. It is thought that the time was most likely during or around Easter when this happened.
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