Catholics around world celebrate Palm Sunday

CROWLEY – This day in Christian history marks Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem before the events of His passion and death took place. Named Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday, this special day begins Holy Week, which concludes the season of Lent and commemorates the last week of the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

As described in the four Synoptic Gospels, Jesus was staying in Bethany, when he sent tow of his disciples to retrieve a donkey that had been tied up but never ridden, and to say, if questioned, that the donkey was needed by the Lord but would be returned in a short period of time. Jesus then rode the donkey into Jerusalem, where he was greeted by followers who honored him by throwing their cloaks and small branches from palm trees down to cover the path, as it was custom in that day of someone thought worthy of the highest honor . Also upon his entrance, the people cried out “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

On this day, prior to church services, priests bless palm leaves to be distributed to the congregation upon their entrance into church. During services, the entire Gospel account of the Passion, the narrative of Jesus’ capture, suffering and death, is read.

The following days of Holy Week are observed with much fasting and prayer, as Christians recount the activities of the week prior to His death.

Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday as it is sometimes referred to, commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with His apostles and the institution of the Eucharist. This tradition in the church commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with this disciples, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples.

Good Friday marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, during which church altars remain completely bare, without cross, candlesticks or altar cloths. No bells are rung between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday culminates the events of Holy Week, during which the church celebrates the feast of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

Palm Sunday services will be held at many area churches as follows: St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, located at 224 West Fifth Street, will host services at 7:30, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. and at 6 p.m. today. Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, located at 901 Elm Street in Crowley, will host morning services at 8 and 10, as well as an evening service at 5 p.m. Assumption Catholic Church, located at 6080 Mire Highway in Mire, will have services take place at 8 and 10 a.m.

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