Why we call it Palm Sunday

Published 7:51 am Sunday, March 25, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

A Sunday by any other name is not the same, or is it?

It depends if one is speaking of Passion Sunday, Willow Sunday, or Flower Sunday. These are different names for Palm Sunday, the sixth Sunday of Lent and the last Sunday before Easter.

Using palm branches, congregations are reminded of an important event in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ – when he entered Jerusalem as king, riding on a donkey, less than a week before he was crucified.

The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including box, olive, willow, and yew. The Sunday was often named after these substitute trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday.

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12:13

The story is told in all four gospels with Matthew 21 as the most likely one to be read in services.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, an especially solemn and important week in the Christian calendar that focuses on the last days of Jesus’ life and anticipates Easter, the most important holiday in Christianity, according to religionfacts.com