"Chosen people of the Lord,
"Singing hosanna to our King,
"Going out to greet him,
"Waving palm branches as we sing."
— Processional in many Catholic churches today
Today is Palm (or Passion) Sunday and begins Holy Week, the last week of Lent and the week prior to Easter.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry onto Jerusalem atop a donkey. Palm Sunday got his name because crowds greeted him by waving branches from the palm and olive trees that lined the road and shouting 'Hosanna' (which means "God Saves"in Hebrew).
Palm Sunday is chronicled in the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
- The palm branch symbolizes victory, triumph, peace and eternal life.
- The donkey is an animal of peace.
- In the Catholic Church today, vestments today will be deep red, the color of Jesus' blood. Likewise, congregants will receive fresh palm leaves folded into the shape of a cross.