Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Today we commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem for the completion of the Paschal Mystery. On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we commemorate Our Lord’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him.
Palm Sunday is also called Fig Sunday, because figs were traditionally eaten that day, memorializing the fig tree cursed by Christ after his entry into Jerusalem. In England, Palm Sunday was called Olive or Branch Sunday, Sallow or Willow, Yew or Blossom Sunday, or Sunday of the Willow Boughs, named for the local replacements for the traditional palm branches.
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.
For complete information and reflections on today’s liturgy, see Fr. Tom Hoisington’s Reflections on the Sacred Liturgy for Palm Sunday.