On the first Palm Sunday, Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem, and people greeted him by waving branches cut from palm trees. Today, as part of our Palm Sunday celebration, we sing and march with palms in hand. If you have never celebrated Palm Sunday quite like this before, you may be interested to know that it’s a practice which began very early in the church. Here’s how a woman named Egeria described it in her diary when she saw it firsthand in late fourth-century Jerusalem: “On Palm Sunday, all Christians assembled at the top of the Mount of Olives. Grasping palm branches in their hands, they sang, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’ as they walked slowly to the church in Jerusalem… When night fell, evening prayers were celebrated, concluded by a prayer in front of a cross erected for the occasion.”
What should we think of this day when Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem? Do we view it with gladness or with sorrow? After all, it was a day of striking contrast. Jesus was met not only by the people who cut branches from the trees, but also by the Pharisees who would soon plot to kill him. The people shouted “Hosanna in the highest,” but Christ cried for Jerusalem, saying, “You did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Yet the greatest contrast came at the end of the week: Christ died, and Christ rose from the dead. So today, while we recognize Christ’s impending suffering, we also rejoice in his ultimate triumph.
The Procession of the Palms
Twin Gospel readings
Primary Service – Church of the Resurrection | 10am
West Loop & UIC | 9:30am