Palm Sunday

Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

Basic Facts About Palm Sunday

Liturgical Color(s): Red
Type of Holiday: Sunday Feast
Time of Year: Sixth Sunday of Lent
Duration: One Day
Celebrates/Symbolizes: Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
Alternate Names: Passion Sunday, Fig Sunday, Dominica in Palmis, Kyriake, Heorte Ton Baion, Heorte Baiophoros
Scriptural References: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40

Traditions and Symbols

Traditions
Blessing of the Palms
Eating Figs
Placing Palm Pieces at Different Locations
Singing the Gloria Laus

Symbols
The Palm Branch

Introduction

And as he rode [into Jerusalem), they spread their garments on the road. As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (Luke 19:36-38, RSV)

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (the full name), the first Sunday of Holy Week within the Lenten Season, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem preceding his passion. As he entered, the people of Jerusalem recognized Jesus as their king, saying "Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"

Traditionally in the Western Church the Palm Sunday service begins with the "blessing of the palms," where the palms used in the procession that follows are blessed. It is during this time that the story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem is read. Then a procession into the church building follows. If there cannot be a procession from the outside of the church, a solemn entrance, taking place entirely within the church, may be done. The hymns and psalmody are related to Christ's office as King. Traditionally the Gloria Laus (i.e. All Glory Laud and Honor), written by Theodulf of Orleans, is sung. Many times the worship service contains a "preaching of the passion," where different events in the last days of Christ are read publicly within the Eucharistic service. In modern Catholic services, the priest and/or a combination of readers read aloud Matthew 26:14-27:66 (Year A), Mark 14:1—15:47 (Year B), or Luke 22:14-23:56 (Year C).

Various customs have developed to celebrate Palm Sunday. In the Slavic countries, the faithful walked through their buildings and fields with the blessed palms, praying and singing ancient hymns. They then laid palm pieces on each plot of ground, in every barn, building, and stable, as a petition was made for protection from weather and disease, and for a blessing upon the produce and property.

History

The pilgrim Egeria attests to a Palm Sunday procession taking place in the Jerusalem Church at the end of the 4th century. In the Gallican Bobbio Missal of the 8th century we find a reference to blessing of the palms, which symbolize the victory of Christ. The more elaborate celebrations of the Middle Ages have been replaced by simpler services in the Western Church. Many denominations, including Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians celebrate Palm Sunday, in addition to Catholics and Eastern Christians. In most churches, the ashes for Ash Wednesday are derived from burned palms, left over from Palm Sunday liturgies.

All Glory Laud and Honor

Refrain:
All glory, laud, and honor
to thee, Redeemer, King!
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.

Thou art the King of Israel,
thou David's royal Son,
who in the Lord's Name comest,
the King and Blessed One. R

The company of angels
are praising thee on high;
and mortal men and all things
created make reply. R

The people of the Hebrews
with palms before thee went;
our praise and prayer and anthems
before thee we present. R

To thee before thy passion
they sang their hymns of praise;
to thee, now high exalted,
our melody we raise. R

Thou didst accept their praises;
accept the prayers we bring,
who in all good delightest,
thou good and gracious King. R
Theodulph of Orleans; tr: John Mason Neale

 From: www.catholicyear.net