Electronic Prayer Book

Palm Sunday


Today’s liturgy is made up of two distinct parts: the first imbued with joy, is the solemn procession of palms; the second, whose keynote is sadness, is the Mass with the singing of the Passion.

Jesus’ solemn entry into Jerusalem is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zachariah [Zacharias] (Zach. 9: 9) referred to by the Gospel at the blessing of palms. See also Isa. 62: 11. The acclamations of the crowd are taken from Psalm 25: 26 (Psalm 26: 26 in some translations); this liturgical chant for the procession entering the Temple on the important feast of Tabernacles is especially suitable reading today. Christ’s triumphant entry into the holy city recalls other great entries: Israel’s entry into the Promised Land under Joshua [Josue], the entry of the Ark into Jerusalem which had been captured by David (1 Chronicles [I Paralip], 11: 4—9; 13: 15; 16). the return of David to Jerusalem, (2 Kings 19: 10 to 20: 3). In this may be seen a type of the “parousia” (the second Coming of Jesus — l Cor 15: 50—57; l. Thes. 4: 15—17). Our thoughts turn naturally also to the presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2: 22—38). The rest of the passage should be read: Jesus purifies the Temple by driving out the buyers and sellers and receives the acclamations of the children (Matt. 21: 12—17).