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Orthodox Palm Sunday – April 9, 2023

Orthodox Palm Sunday is annually observed on the Sunday before Easter. This year, it takes place on April 9. It is the first day of the Holy Week — known as the last week of Lent — and commemorates Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Churches distribute palm branches to congregations during Palm Sunday liturgies, representing the palm branches scattered before Christ by the people of Jerusalem upon his entry into the city.

History of Orthodox Palm Sunday

Orthodox Palm Sunday is one of the most joyous feasts of the year celebrated by the Orthodox Church. The holiday serves as a reminder and a way to honor Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. It is also an opportunity to share stories about Jesus, his life, his journey to Jerusalem, and his reception by the city’s people.

About 2,000 years ago, the people of Jerusalem heard of the miracles Jesus had performed. So, when he arrived at the city’s entrance on the back of a young donkey, they honored him by shouting praises and spreading palm branches before him. As a result, the day of this entry into Jerusalem became known as “Palm Sunday.” Churches and Christian homes are filled with palm branches to honor Christ on the holiday. People celebrate the holiday with joy but with the awareness that sadness is soon to come.

Moreover, masses are held to deliver teachings of the works of Jesus. People learn all about his works on Earth, the miracles he performed, and the story of Easter. Easter is the period of Christ’s death — when he was killed, buried, resurrected, and became a true martyr. It has been celebrated annually all over the world as a way to remember and honor the sacrifices of Christ.

Orthodox Palm Sunday timeline

6 B.C.
Jesus is Born

Jesus is born in a town called Bethlehem.

A.D. 28
Jesus is Baptized

Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River.

A.D. 29
Jesus Performs Miracles

Jesus performs miracles like healing the sick and raising the dead.

A.D. 30
Jesus is Put on Trial

Pontius Pilate orders Jesus to be crucified.

Orthodox Palm Sunday FAQs

What if I don’t have palms?

If palms are not available to you, you can use branches of other trees.

When was Jesus arrested?

Jesus was arrested on Holy Thursday after the Last Supper.

Is there fasting during Lent?

Lent is a period of fasting observed by Christians where they remember the events leading up to Christ’s death. During this period, Christians do not eat meat, pray constantly, and remember the Lord.

How to Observe Orthodox Palm Sunday

  1. Attend Mass

    You can attend a church service or go to Mass to observe Orthodox Palm Sunday. You'll learn about Christ’s life and his teachings.

  2. Hang a palm

    To observe Orthodox Palm Sunday, you can hang a palm branch in your home, office, or car. It is a symbol that honors Jesus.

  3. Learn about Jesus

    Conduct some research about Jesus and learn who he was. Find out his thoughts, teachings, and why the people of Jerusalem loved him.

5 Facts About Orthodox Palm Sunday

  1. It has other names

    Orthodox Palm Sunday can also be referred to as Passion Sunday or Branch Sunday.

  2. It is part of Lent

    The holiday is considered the first day of the last week of Lent.

  3. It is a day of peace

    Orthodox Palm Sunday is a day of peace and remembrance.

  4. It has a color

    The holiday is represented by the color red.

  5. It gives importance to donkeys

    Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to show his peaceful intentions.

Why Orthodox Palm Sunday is Important

  1. It brings awareness

    The holiday teaches people about the significance of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. It makes them aware of Christ’s teachings and life.

  2. It keeps faith alive

    Orthodox Palm Sunday keeps Christian teachings and traditions alive. It ensures people remember the works of Christ.

  3. It creates unity

    The holiday brings a lot of people together in remembrance of Christ and the teachings he brought to his people. Orthodox Palm Sunday congregations unify people and help them commemorate the Son of God.

Orthodox Palm Sunday dates

YearDateDay
2022April 17Sunday
2023April 9Sunday
2024April 28Sunday
2025April 13Sunday
2026April 5Sunday

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