Palm Sunday is the week before Easter, observed in Christian churches around the world. It commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
According to the King James Bible, ‘On the next day, much people that were come to the Feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him and cried ‘Hosanna. Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
Churches are traditionally decorated with palm leaves on this day. The palm may also be incorporated into the service.
At Elmslie Memorial Church, for example, children at the 11am service entered bearing palm leaves.
At St. Alban’s Church of England, the congregation had a procession with palms around the church property before entering for continuation of the 9am service.
At St. Ignatius Catholic Church and Christ the Redeemer in West Bay, parishioners held palm leafletts during the reading of the Gospel.
For the Catholic community, palm leaves were cut on Friday morning and donated by a parishioner. Others gathered at the church rectory to cut and wash them.
After Mass on Sunday, most members of the congregations carried their palm leaflets home as an aid to private devotion. Some put the plain piece behind a crucifix hanging on the wall. Others make it a part of a bouquet on a small altar.
Palm strips are sometimes woven or folded into beautiful designs. The process enables worshippers to offer their skills in thanksgiving to God and provide a symbol that will be displayed until next Palm Sunday.