“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.” (Matthew 21:8)
In the 33 AD, almost 2000 years ago, on a Sunday preceding the Feast of Passover, Jesus humbly entered Jerusalem on a back of a donkey and was ceremonially welcomed by many of the Jewish pilgrims who gathered in the town to celebrate the holiday.
The Jews knew him as a great preacher and miracle maker. Thus, greeted him with the words “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:26) and spread on the road in front of him their clothes and tree branches. They took him, however, as their possible political leader, who could free them from the Roman rule, not as the Messiah, whose Kingdom is in Heaven.
The Christian Feast of Palm Sunday solemnizes Jesus’s glorious entry to Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago and marks the beginning of the Holy Week, which commemorates the events which happened before Christ’s death and resurrection.
Join the Celebration
In the Holy Town of Jerusalem, where it all happened, Catholics annually celebrate the Palm Sunday procession to commemorate the great events of the past. Also this year 2013, on Sunday of the 24th of March, the joyful and colorful gathering will follow the way from Bethphage on theMount of Olives to Saint Anne’s church on the Via Dolorosa. The march will start at 2:30 pm from in front of the Franciscan Church of Bethphage, located in the village where Jesus took the donkey to ride on it into Jerusalem.
The Palm Sunday procession, during which people cary palm or olive tree branches, is commonly known for its full of singing and blessings joyous atmosphere. The rhythmical music of the local scouts usually accompanies the event.
This is an amazing spiritual and cultural experience for all the gathered to follow exactly the way Christ took to enter Jerusalem and meet the fellows in faith from all around the world.
The destination of the march, through the part of Via Dolorosa, is the Church of Saint Anne.
Other Catholic mass services in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday 2013:
- 6:30 am – Jerusalem – Holy Sepulchre: Procession with Palms and Pontifical Mass at Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene
- 2:30 pm – Bethphage – Palm Sunday procession over Mt. of Olives to St. Anne’s Church
- 4 pm – Jerusalem – Holy Sepulchre: Daily Procession
Beata Andonia works for the Bethlehem tourist bureau and blogs regularly about Bethlehem for Travelujah-Holy Land Tours. She is originally from Poland and moved to Bethlehem in 2010.