Palm Sunday Celebrated Around the World as Christians Commemorate Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem
Exploring the Significance of Palm Sunday: Celebrating the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in 2023
Today, April 2, 2023, marks Palm Sunday, the day when Christians around the world commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem before his crucifixion and resurrection. This important day falls on the Sunday before Easter and is marked by the waving of palm branches and special church services.
In cities and towns across the globe, believers gathered to celebrate Palm Sunday with a mix of traditional and contemporary practices. Many churches held special processions, with congregants carrying palm branches to symbolize the branches laid down by the people of Jerusalem to welcome Jesus.
In Rome, Pope Francis led a Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s Square a day after leaving the hospital where he was treated for severe bronchitis, where he delivered a homily calling for Christians to remember Jesus’ message of love and compassion.
He opened the mass with “a weak and slightly breathless voice”, Italian media reported.
In his homily, he called on the faithful to “take care of those who are left alone”. “There are entire populations who are exploited and left to their own devices,” he said. “There are migrants who are no longer faces but numbers, rejected inmates and people categorised as problems.”
In Jerusalem, the site of Jesus’ entry into the city nearly 2,000 years ago, thousands of Christian pilgrims gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to participate in the Palm Sunday procession. The event was led by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who waved a palm frond as he led the procession through the Old City.
“We are here to remember the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, but also to remember his teachings of love, forgiveness, and compassion,” Theophilos III said. “As we walk through these streets, we are reminded of the sacrifices that Jesus made for us, and we are called to follow his example by living lives of service and love.”
In other parts of the world, Palm Sunday was celebrated with a mix of traditional and contemporary practices. In the Philippines, for example, thousands of devotees flocked to the Quiapo Church in Manila to take part in the annual “Salubong” procession, which reenacts Jesus’ meeting with his mother, Mary, after his resurrection.
Meanwhile, in the United States, many churches held special Palm Sunday services that included contemporary music, dramatic readings, and multimedia presentations. Some churches also hosted special events for children, including crafts and activities centered around the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.
Despite the many different ways in which Palm Sunday is celebrated around the world, the message remains the same: to remember Jesus’ teachings of love, compassion, and forgiveness, and to follow his example by living lives of service to others. As Christians begin the journey of Holy Week, leading up to Easter Sunday, they are called to reflect on the meaning of these teachings and to renew their commitment to living out these values in their daily lives.