This blogpost series is called Holidays and Holy Days to inform our OSU community about significant religious and spiritual observances. If you know of a significant holiday or holy day coming up, please communicate the information to Hannah Pynn firstname.lastname@example.org in the Dean of Student Life office.
March 24th, 2013 is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week before Easter.
Palm Sunday marks the Sunday before Easter and begins the week-long observance of Holy week in all Christian and Catholic traditions. Palm Sunday is also celebrated in Orthodox Christianity, but is celebrated on April 28th, 2013 in accordance with the Orthodox calendar.
Palm Sunday recognizes the day that Jesus entered into Jerusalem about a week before he was executed. Crowds waved palm branches and laid the branches on the ground to create a path for him into the city. Citizens of Jerusalem celebrated Jesus’ entry by saying, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” (John 12:13) These actions and words signified the belief that Jesus would rise to political power as a religious king sent by God.
This holiday is often celebrated as solemn holiday, marking the days leading up to the betrayal of Jesus, and his execution at the end of the week. But there is hope in remembering that Jesus raised from the dead a week later on Easter. Some celebrate this holiday joyfully, remembering that Jesus was not a political leader, but has risen from the dead and defeated the effects of sin and death.
Although Jesus was expected to rise in political power, Jesus did not use force or political authority. Religious leaders and political powers feared the influence Jesus had on the masses. Jesus quietly rode on a humble donkey into the city still drew crowds of followers, but this marked the beginning of plots to kill Jesus to remove his influence by his radical ideas of God’s love and grace.
- Palm Branches in church services
- Donkey processionals
- Holy water used as a blessing
- Recounting the word “Hosanna”
- Saving the palm branches to be burned for next year’s Ash Wednesday