Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_top position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_bottom position below the menu.

Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.
FAQs

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Question: WHY PALM SUNDAY AND NOT BRANCH SUNDAY OR CLOAK SUNDAY?

Answer:

We all know the story of the Triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday is the Christian Holy Day commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entrance into the City of Jerusalem during the Passover Feast. This occurs on the Sunday before Easter as described in all four gospels (Matthew 21: 1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44 and John 12:12-19). The gospels of Mark and John specify this event occurring on the Sunday before Easter.

But interestingly, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke makes no mention of Palms being used. Specifically, Matthew 21:8 says “most of the crowds spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from trees and spread them on the road.” Mark says the same in 11:8. Luke on his part simply says the people spread their garments on the road (Luke 19:36). Since Jesus was coming down from Mount of Olives we can assume that the branches were mostly olive branches and other branches from low trees in the vicinity. Moreover, palm branches would have been too high to get to (except one is a professional palm wine tapper) and difficult to cut with mere hands (Edward Scissors Hand or Wolverine?), not to talk of the little matter of the thorns on the palm branch. 

Alarm bells ringing? Is it in the Bible then? Relax! It's sure in the Bible and used in the same event. The Gospel of St. John 12:13 tells us that “...they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, 'Hosanna!'”

SO WHY PALM SUNDAY AND NOT BRANCH SUNDAY OR OLIVE SUNDAY?

This use of palm is based on its symbolism. The palm branch has always been held in high regard in many cultures that even predates Christianity. Ancient Egyptians see it as a sign of immortality and was used by ancient Greeks as a medal awarded to athletes. For the Romans, it represented victory and by extension, it was used to symbolize peace that comes after victory. For the Jews, the palm was a symbol of righteousness for the Psalmist says “the righteous will flourish like the palm tree” (Psalm 92:12). For the Igbos, the palm called omu, a tender palm frond, is used to sacralize and restrain…(You remember those traditionalists that put palm leaves in their mouths? That is to restrain them from talking. When you see a palm leaf tied on an item, it means the object is sacred...see 'Nollywood').

When the followers of Jesus used it that first Palm sunday, they were referring to the victorious power of Jesus and so they cried out “Hosanna!” which literarily means “Save us.”

In Christianity, early Christians used the palm branch to symbolize the victory of the faithful over enemies of the soul. In Western Christian art, martyrs were often shown holding a palm frond as an attribute, representing the victory of spirit over flesh, and it was widely believed that a picture of a palm on a tomb meant that a martyr was buried there. 

It is presumed that the Palm Sunday celebration originated in the churches of Jerusalem sometime during the third or fourth century and marked the beginning of the holy week preceding Easter. By the fifth century, the Palm Sunday celebration had spread as far as Constantinople. Changes made in the sixth and seventh centuries resulted in two new Palm Sunday traditions. The ritual blessing of the palms and a morning procession instead of an evening one became the new norm. Adopted by the Western Church in the eighth century, the celebration received the name "Dominica in Palmis," or "Palm Sunday".

For Christians, the Palm branch is a symbol of victory, life, righteousness, fruitfulness, and peace. It is thus appropriate that we celebrate Palm sunday on the Sunday preceding the greatest Sunday in the Church's calendar. It is also appropriate that while we continue our battle against the sins of the flesh during this Lenten season, we look forward to the victory over sin and the peace that comes with such victory.

Fr. Julian Egwuatu

07039113619

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