Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, the beginning of Holy Week, and commemorates the triumphant arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified. The use of a colt instead of a horse is highly symbolic, representing the humble arrival of someone who comes in the name of peace, as opposed to a warrior mounted on a military steed. Palm branches are recognized widely as symbols of peace and victory, hence their use on Palm Sunday. The palms enjoy one of the longest sacramental blessings of any blessed item and are one of the few sacred items blessed in the context of the Mass itself. In church, the faithful hold their palm branches high for the rite of sprinkling and blessing, then bring their palms home and place them with devotion behind a crucifix or holy picture – a yearlong reminder that Christ “reigns from the wood,” suffered and died out of love for us, and is with us in our own times of suffering, peace, and victory.
With prayerful best wishes for a blessed Palm Sunday and Holy Week,

Fr. John Mahoney