Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Palm Sunday

Catholics celebrate Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord one week before Easter. The emotional liturgy on that day reflects both the joyful and sorrowful aspects of Jesus Paschal Mystery.

Also called Passion Sunday, the day marks the beginning of Holy Week, the holiest week of the year.

Palm branches are blessed and distributed. A solemn procession takes place accompanied by a first Gospel reading about Jesus making his triumphant entry into Jerusalem and being welcomed by people crying out for help by yelling, “Hosanna!”

A reading from the Old Testament foreshadows events told in the Gospels. Then a reading from a New Testament letter emphasizes that Jesus is truly God and willingly sacrificed Himself.

A second Gospel reading, one from the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, or Luke includes the events of the Last Supper, Jesus’ agony in the garden, his betrayal and arrest, and his Crucifixion and Death which mark the inauguration of a new Passover.

As a reminder that Jesus’ Passion and Death is the price that He paid for their sins, Catholics participate out loud in the second Gospel, reciting the lines of those same people who welcomed him but are now saying, “Crucify Him!”

The liturgical color of Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord is red, which represents the blood of redemption that Jesus shed on the Cross.

Reenacting Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem:

Catholic Online

Palm Sunday in Jerusalem:

Christian Media Center – English

When they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately on entering it, you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone should say to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ reply, ‘The Master has need of it and will send it back here at once.’” So they went off and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street, and they untied it. Some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They answered them just as Jesus had told them to, and they permitted them to do it. So they brought the colt to Jesus and put their cloaks over it. And He sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!”

Mark 11: 1-10

A sign of victory for a humble King:

Diocese of Joliet

God responds to our cry for help:


How will Jerusalem welcome her Messiah? Although Jesus had always refused popular attempts to make Him king, He chooses the time and prepares the details for his messianic entry into the city of “his father David”. Acclaimed as Son of David, as the One who brings salvation (Hosanna means “Save!” or “Give salvation!”), the “King of glory” enters his City “riding on an ass”. Jesus conquers the Daughter of Zion, a figure of his Church, neither by ruse nor by violence, but by the humility that bears witness to the truth. And so the subjects of his kingdom on that day are children and God’s poor, who acclaim Him as had the angels when they announced him to the shepherds. Their acclamation, “Blessed be He who comes in the name of the Lord”, is taken up by the Church in the “Sanctus” of the Eucharistic liturgy that introduces the memorial of the Lord’s Passover.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 559

Preparing Catholics to take up their cross:


Participating in his suffering, death, and resurrection:

Called to More

Jesus’ words and actions at the climax of his life:

Bishop Robert Barron

Let us return to today’s Gospel passage and ask ourselves: what is really happening in the hearts of those who acclaim Christ as King of Israel?  Clearly, they had their own idea of the Messiah, an idea of how the long-awaited King promised by the prophets should act.  Not by chance, a few days later, instead of acclaiming Jesus, the Jerusalem crowd will cry out to Pilate: “Crucify him!”, while the disciples, together with others who had seen him and listened to him, will be struck dumb and will disperse.  The majority, in fact, was disappointed by the way Jesus chose to present himself as Messiah and King of Israel.  This is the heart of today’s feast, for us too.  Who is Jesus of Nazareth for us?

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, 1 April 2012

Old Testament influences on the Palm Sunday stories:

Catholic Productions

The readings for Palm Sunday are long for a reason:

Sundays with Ascension

A reminder of how much Jesus suffered:

Warner D’Souza

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

From Rome to America:


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