Palm Sunday


Palm Sunday
the Sunday before Easter, celebrated in commemoration of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
[bef. 1000; ME; OE]

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In Christianity, the first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter, commemorating Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

It usually includes a procession of members of the congregation carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into the city. The liturgy also includes readings recounting the suffering and death of Jesus. Palm Sunday was celebrated in Jerusalem as early as the 4th century and in the West by the 8th century.

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also called  Passion Sunday 

      in the Christian tradition, first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter, commemorating Jesus Christ's (Jesus Christ) triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is associated in many churches with the blessing and procession of palms (palm) (leaves of the date palm or twigs from locally available trees). These special ceremonies were taking place toward the end of the 4th century in Jerusalem and are described in the travelogue Peregrinatio Etheriae (The Pilgrimage of Etheria). In the West the earliest evidence of the ceremonies is found in the Bobbio Sacramentary (8th century). During the European Middle Ages the ceremony for the blessing of the palms was elaborate: the procession began in one church, went to a church in which the palms were blessed, and returned to the church in which the procession had originated for the singing of the liturgy. The principal feature of the liturgy that followed the procession was the chanting by three deacons of the account of the Passion of Christ (Matthew 26:36–27:54). Musical settings for the crowd parts were sometimes sung by the choir. After reforms of the Roman Catholic (Roman Catholicism) liturgies in 1955 and 1969, the ceremonies were somewhat simplified in order to emphasize the suffering and death of Christ. The day is now called officially Passion Sunday; the liturgy begins with a blessing and procession of palms, but prime attention is given to a lengthy reading of the Passion, with parts taken by the priest, lectors, and the congregation.

      In the Byzantine liturgy (Eastern Orthodoxy) the Eucharist on Palm Sunday is followed by a procession in which the priest carries the icon representing the events being commemorated. In the Anglican churches some of the traditional ceremonies were revived in the 19th century. The majority of Protestant churches, while celebrating the day without ritual ceremonies, give palms increasing prominence.

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