Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday. On this day, Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection.
The Bible reveals that when Jesus entered Jerusalem on top of a donkey, people cut branches from palm trees, laid them across Jesus’ path and waved them in the air. They greeted Him and shouted “Hosanna” meant “save now.” Immediately following this great time of celebration, He begins His journey to the cross.
What does the donkey symbolize? How about the palm?
The donkey was considered to be an animal of peace as opposed to a horse, which was an animal of war. To arrive on a donkey would be symbolic of peaceful intentions. Palm branches symbolize goodness and victory.
Today, we commemorate this religious event with the benediction of the palms, the procession, the Mass, and during it the singing of the Passion. The palms blessed are taken home by the faithful and used as a sacramental. From the blessed palms the ashes are procured for Ash Wednesday.