Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy week within the Catholic Church – a commemoration and solemn reminder of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem; where the same people who were quick to proclaim him King would thereafter join in his condemnation. In all leading parishes, palm and olive branches are blessed.
TVM was present for the celebration in the Siġġiewi parish where the event is also re-enacted.
On Sunday morning, the Siġġiewi parish greeted parishioners, amongst these children accompanied by parents and catechists, in front of the chapel of St. John located in Siggiewi square.
The parish priest, Fr Josef Mifsud led the blessing of palm fronds.
‘The Gospel says that people rejoiced in Jesus with the words Hosanna to the son of David. They greeted him with Palm and olive branches which symbolises the way we welcome Jesus in our hearts and also amongst us.’
A passage from the Gospel of St. Luke was read, which recounts Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem riding a colt, while people paved the way for him by spreading their cloaks and greeted him by shouting joyfully.
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest.”
At this point a procession left toward the Parish church. A boy rode a donkey and many children followed holding blessed palm and olive branches.
Mass continued in church with today’s gospel telling the story about the passion of Christ.
‘This celebration commemorates the beginning of Holy week for us Christians. Several times throughout the Gospel of St. John we find references to the Jews wanting but failing to arrest Jesus, because his hour had not yet come. Today marks the start of these celebrations. The hour is upon us and has arrived. ‘
Many are still in the habit of keeping olive branches in a prominent place at home or at work today, and for the remainder of the year.