— Dr.Dina (DONDON) (@Dinaegy) April 13, 2014
Christians are in the midst of celebrating Lent or the 40 days before Easter.
Palm Sunday falls on the Sunday before Easter and marks the start of Holy Week.
Here’s what you need to know about the holiday that started because of deep reverence for Jesus Christ.
1. It Celebrates Jesus’ Arrival Into Jerusalem
When Jesus entered into the holy city of Jerusalem, his followers placed palms in his path in the form of reverence.
A huge crowd assembled, put their cloaks or branches on the ground, and waved palm branches.
According to CatholicCulture.org, the holiday wasn’t always celebrated on the Sunday before Easter:
In the old calendar before Vatican II, the Church celebrated Passion Sunday two Sundays before Easter, and then Palm Sunday was the beginning of Holy Week. The Church has combined the two to reinforce the solemnity of Holy Week.
2. Churches Give Out Palms
The priests and deacons wear red vestments for Palm Sunday mass. There is a special entrance at the beginning of the liturgy, which includes a blessing of the palms.
Worshipers receive fresh palms at the start of the service. Many like to tie the palms to create crosses and display them in their homes as a reminder of the Holy Day. See the instructional video above.
The palms are burned and saved for the following year’s Ash Wednesday service.
3. This Year, Pope Francis Posed for Selfies
— CTV News (@CTVNews) April 13, 2014
Pope Francis celebrated mass at the Vatican on Palm Sunday to a crowd of 100,000.
According to ABC, the progressive Pope strayed from a prepared homily, and just spoke off the cuff.
He then jumped off his popemobile to pose for selfies with young people in the crowd.
4. The Gospel is Read in Parts at Mass
— Fr Paul Butler (@RedRector) April 13, 2014
The Priest reads the part of Jesus, and the lectors each take a character in the story. “The crowd” is spoken by the congregation.
Matthew 26:14, Matthew 27:66 or Matthew 27:11-54 is read on the holiday, and it is the longest Gospel reading of the year.
5. It’s Also Called Passion Sunday & Marks The Start of Holy Week
— The Bible App (@YouVersion) April 13, 2014
According to catholicism.about.com, the holiday also goes by Passion Sunday, Sunday of the Passion, Yew Sunday, Branch Sunday, Entry of the Lord Into Jerusalem.
Holy Week, or the week before Easter, begins with Palm Sunday, and includes Holy Thursday and Good Friday.