Palm Sunday is a significant event in the Christian calendar and this day marks the commencement of the Holy Week. The Palm Sunday history will allow all of us to get an idea about why and how this week is so important.
The history of Palm Sunday took into account all that happened with Jesus after his majestic entry to Jerusalem.
- The normal population of Jerusalem during that time was approximately 50,000. But during Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem the population had nearly tripled in size.
- Pilgrims celebrating the Jewish holiday Passover had come into the city and thus the rush was high.
- It was an early Sunday morning when Jesus made his public entry in Jerusalem, where one highly experienced the collision of the religious and political systems.
- There were crowds cheering Him and singing praises for Him.
- There were processions and shouting from the people standing to welcome Him. People laid down their garments and Palm leaves on the path through which Jesus was walking over.
- It was all done to cushion his ride, as it is a custom which is observed on many Christian occasions. On top of that, palm fronds are considered to be a symbol of triumph.
- Palm Sunday was previously, known as the Pascha (Passover). To look back at the history and meaning of Palm Sunday, look at the Christian church history. With its origination in the Jerusalem Church, approximately around the late fourth century, Palm Sunday specifically was celebrated with prayers, hymns, and sermons.
- These were recited by the clergy and also people believing in Palm Sunday celebrations moved around the city visiting various holy sites.
- The last site to be visited by people in Jerusalem was the place where Christ soared up into heaven. Holy names and praises of Jesus are recited from the gospels and that is an important part of the Palm Sunday celebrations.
- By the 5th century, the celebrations of Palm Sunday had gone as far as Constantinople. But the traditions of Palm Sunday have changed over the sixth and seventh centuries, whereby two new Palm Sunday traditions have been introduced.
- There is a ritual which involves blessing with the palms, and also includes a morning procession substituting the one which took place in the morning. Palm Sunday in the eighth century, received a name “Dominica in Palmis,” the other name for Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday meaning
- Palm Sunday remembers the victorious entry of Jesus into Jerusalem for the sole purpose of celebrating Passover. The gospels witness the entrance of Jesus riding in the city on a donkey’s back, with the crowds laying over their cloaks and palm branches on the street.
- They sing praises for him “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” for honoring the long-awaited Messiah and the King.
- There is a special implication of Jesus riding a donkey and coming into Jerusalem. During the biblical times, there was a regional custom for the kings and the nobles to arrive in the procession by riding on a back of a donkey. Donkey, which is considered to be a symbol of peace – implies that those who ride upon them get their intentions peacefully solved.