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Monday, March 12, 2012

Symbols of Palm Sunday

The most solemn week of the Christian year, Holy week is the week leading up to Easter, and is the week during which Christians particularly remember the last week of Jesus's life. Holy week begins on Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday commemorates Christ's triumphant arrival in Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd.
Later in that week many of the people in that cheering crowd would be among those shouting that Jesus should be executed.

Christian clergy will often use the Palm Sunday story to help people think about the strength of their own commitment to their faith. They may ask believers to think about times that they have been unfaithful to Christ, or been hypocritical in proclaiming their support.

Church services
In many churches, during Palm Sunday services, large palm branches are carried in processions.
In Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, members of the congregation hold small crosses made of palm leaf, both to remember the palm leaves which the people of Jerusalem waved when Jesus arrived, and to remember the cross on which he died.

Some Christians display the crosses from that service in their homes during the year as asymbol of their faith. The crosses are burned at the start of Lent the next year to provide the ash for Ash Wednesday.
Hymns for Palm Sunday usually include Ride on, Ride on in Majesty, and All glory, laud and honour.
Songs may include Make WayHosanna, and (for children) We have a King who Rides a Donkey.

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