Christians mark Palm Sunday as ‘holy week’ begins – PHOTOS
Christians worldwide are observing Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection.
It is the day Jesus Christ made a triumphant entry to Jerusalem riding on a donkey, only to be crucified five days later by the very people who had welcomed him to the holy city.
According to Reverend Father Samuel Nyattaya of the Catholic archdiocese of Kisumu, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the final week before Easter.
“It introduces us into the last seven days before the sorrowful death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Father Samuel Nyattaya said.
“Before the tragic events that happened to Jesus, he entered into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. People cut branches and spread it on the way for him. Some others cut palm leaves and waved as they shouted, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the Highest’,” he explained.
In an interview with Sunday Nation, Father Nyattaya emphasised the significance of the day:
“It is the beginning of Holy Week. The church wants all Christians to walk into Easter calmly. The Holy Week is a time for the holy people or those who struggle to be holy. Each day, the Holy Week has a traditional special name.”
Throughout the week, Christians will take part in the holy triduum liturgy that begins with Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday before celebrating Easter Sunday.
Palm branches are widely recognised as a symbol of peace and victory hence their preferred use on Palm Sunday.
The use of donkey represents the humble arrival of someone peaceful. During Palm Sunday Mass, palms are distributed to parishioners who carry them in a ritual procession into church.