Notre-Dame: Palm Sunday Mass celebrated days before fire
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Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week and comes just one week before Easter 2021. Unlike Easter, however, the day has a sole spiritual focus, with much less commercialisation. The Government has granted special lockdown permissions for the day, showcasing its significance.
What happened to Jesus on Palm Sunday?
Modern Palm Sunday sees people feast the week before Easter to celebrate the final week of Jesus’ life.
The Bible states he travelled to Jerusalem while understanding the trip would end in his sacrifice.
Ahead of the trip, he sent two disciples to the nearby village of Bethphage.
Jesus tasked them with finding an unbroken colt, which carried him into the city.
Worshippers met him on his way into the city and shouted “Hosanna”, meaning “save now”.
They scattered palm leaves in his path, symbolising “goodness and victory”.
Other Jerusalem residents followed as Jesus passed through the city, throwing their cloaks down in submission to him.
Once the celebration concluded, he journeyed to the cross, where he would eventually die.
Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday in some Christian circles, and modern celebrations attempt to emulate Jesus’ trip.
Churches have several ways they may choose to commemorate the event in the modern-day.
Leaders will try to emulate the trip Jesus made with their congregation.
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- Reading accounts of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem
- Carrying and waving distributed palm branches
- Blessing of the palms
- Traditional hymn singing
- Making miniature crosses with palm fronds
Some of these practices won’t be available today due to Covid restrictions.
Congregation leaders can still distribute crosses as long as they are made locally and with strict hygiene adherence.
Other acts which require touch or close contact cannot resume as they might usually.
People can celebrate at home, as the Church of England website has prepared resources for worshippers.
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