Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday Quick Facts - US

AKA NamePassion Sunday
HashtagsCompiled on#PalmSunday
Related Hashtags#HolyWeek
2024 DateMarch 24, 2024
2025 DateApril 13, 2025

Palm Sunday

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Palm Sunday History

Palm Sunday honors the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem ahead of His crucifixion and resurrection. The observance is characterized by the use of palm branches, a symbol of victory in ancient times, hence the name 'Palm Sunday.' It also sets the tone for Holy Week, a solemn period of reflection and renewal for believers leading up to Easter Sunday.

Palm Sunday commemorates an event with profound historical roots. According to the Gospel accounts, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, where He was met by crowds of people laying down their cloaks and palm branches on the path. Even though Palm Sunday is universally celebrated among Christians, its customs can vary regionally. For American Christians, Palm Sunday serves as a poignant reminder of the redemptive work of Jesus and signifies the beginning of the most sacred week in the liturgical calendar.

In the United States, Palm Sunday is traditionally observed with church services where attendees often receive palm fronds. In many churches, these fronds are formed into crosses and other symbols of faith and hope. Additionally, some churches conduct processions or parades, and many Christians use this day for reflection and prayer. Palm Sunday is not a public holiday in the U.S., so businesses operate as usual. The date varies from year to year but it always falls on the Sunday before Easter and, typically, in late March or early April.

Facts & quotes about Palm Sunday

  • Crowds of people welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem, throwing their cloaks on his path and waving palm branches (John 12:19, Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11). It was similar to the reception that Caesar, the emperor of Rome, would receive. Caesar was considered God amongst Romans, and this event not only underscored Jesus' divinity and kingship, it was an act of treason in Roman society.
  • The colt that Jesus rode on into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-44) was said to fulfill prophecy from the Old Testament about the Messiah, the savior of Israel. The Old Testament scripture he fulfilled is Zechariah 9:9: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
  • Palm Sunday is celebrated in virtually every Christian church. It marks Jesus' final entry into Jerusalem before he was persecuted, crucified, and resurrected. The observation occurs toward the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and preparation meant to create reflection on Christ's suffering. Palm Sunday is traditionally the beginning of Holy Week, which includes Holy Thursday and Good Friday services, as well as Easter Vigil services on Saturday and Easter Sunday.
  • Many parishes provide palms as part of Mass on this day. The palms are typically weaved into crosses and other religious symbols.
  • God is at our side in every affliction, in every fear; no evil, no sin will ever have the final word. God triumphs, but the palm of victory passes through the wood of the cross. For the palm and the cross are inseparable - Pope Francis, Palm Sunday, March 28th, 2021.

Top things to do in the US for Palm Sunday

  • Offer somebody a palm as an act of reconciliation or forgiveness. It is a common tradition among many Italian Catholics.
  • Go to a Palm Sunday church service and get palm branches.
  • Watch 2021's Palm Sunday Mass if you missed it.

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