christians around the globe will head to church today to observe the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem.
It’s a solemn date where Chrsitians pay their respects to Jesus and reflect on the sacrifices he is said to have made.
Palm Sunday is also a great time for Christian parents to involve their children in church worship with songs, activities and facts.
Here is everything you need to know.
When is Palm Sunday?
Palm Sunday is today, April 9th. It always falls on the Sunday, one week before Easter every year.
What is Palm Sunday?
Palm Sunday marks the day Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey, just a few days before he was betrayed by his friend Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 apostles, put on trial and sentenced to death by crucifixion.
The day is called ‘Palm Sunday’ because the people of Jerusalem threw palm leaves to the floor as a greeting when he arrived.
Nowadays Palm Sunday is commemorated by a ritual procession of people carrying palm branches, or if these are not available, branches from yew, willow and olive trees into church.
For this reason Palm Sunday is sometimes called Branch Sunday.
These palms are then blessed, and sometimes fashioned into crosses.
Palm Sunday is always the Sunday before Easter and is also the final day of lent.
Why palms and a donkey?
Back in 5BC-AD33, palm leaves and branches were a sign of homage and thrown before people of great respect. The people also threw down their cloaks and clothes.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey as a symbol of peace – whereas if he had strode in on a horse, often used in battle, he could have been seen as a warmonger.
What happens to the palms after Palm Sunday?
Because the palms are blessed they cannot simply be thrown out as rubbish or discarded.
Instead, the palms are burned after being used during the Palm Sunday ceremony and the ashes are used to mark parishioner’s foreheads on the next Ash Wednesday (start of lent).
Songs for Palm Sunday
All Hail King Jesus (Moody) (Maranatha Praise vol 2 or 3, The Source vol 1, Songs of Fellowship vol 1)
Now Unto the King Eternal (Sonnenberg)
Save Now (Himes) (Hallelujah Choruses vol 17)
Sing to the King (Foote, Horne)
The Mighty One of Israel (Hendricks)
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (SA Songbook)
All Glory Laud and Honor (Celebration Hymnal)
Ancient of Days (Harvill, Sadler) (The Source vol 1, Songs of Fellowship vol 2)
Clap Your Hands (Owens) (children’s song) (Maranatha vol 2)