Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord


Six days before the Passover, when the Lord came into the city of Jerusalem, the children ran to meet him; in their hands they carried palm branches and with a loud voice they cried out: “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy!”


We enter into Holy Week, the Great Week of the Liturgical Year, with the procession of palms. In ancient times, this Sunday was called “the flowering Pasch,” a rightful suggestion that this is not a pageant or a folkloric restaging of what is described in the gospel but an anticipation of what we will celebrate in the days ahead, and especially in the Triduum, the three day feast of Christ’s Pasch: his Passover through death into the life which he shares with all those who die and rise with him. The palms or branches that we wave, the “Hosannas” that we sing are symbols of Christ’s victory, of the sap that flows through the wood of the Cross to flower in us, the branches grafted onto him.

[Building the Rock, Vera A. Holyhead, p. 44]


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