Palm Sunday: What does it mean and why is it celebrated?



On Palm Sunday, Christians throughout the world celebrate the day Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem days before his crucifixion.

Crowds left palm fronds and clothing in his path as a sign of praise and respect.

Every year, millions of Christians observe Palm Sunday by attending church service and carrying palms of their own.

Here’s what you need to know about the Sunday that launches the holiest days for the world’s Christians:

Palm Sunday is the last Sunday of Lent and first day of Holy Week in Christian churches. It falls on the Sunday before Easter and is always a movable feast.

It is celebrated in all major Christian churches, including Roman Catholic and Protestant. In Orthodox churches, which follow the Julian calender, Palm Sunday is celebrated later.

The day marks Jesus’ monumental arrival in Jerusalem, the start of the march to his death on a wooden cross. It’s also known as Passion Sunday in honor of his suffering and death before his resurrection.

Palm Sunday during the pandemic will be different than this 2017 procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City.

Palm Sunday is often celebrated with processions and distribution of blessed palm leaves.

In some churches, the palms are saved and burned into ashes to be used on Ash Wednesday of the next year. Some Christians fold the palm fronds into crosses and keep them in their homes.


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