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What you need to know about Palm Sunday [Pictures]

By Winfrey Owino | Apr 10th 2022 | 2 min read
Christians during Palm Sunday procession in Kisumu. [Michael Mute, Standard]

Christians across the country are marking the Palm Sunday.

It is celebrated by Catholic and Protestant churches apart from the Orthodox Christian community who celebrate it later because they follow the Julian calendar.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, historically the most sacred time of year for Christians.

Catholics celebrate Palm Sunday at St Joseph Catholic Milimani in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

On this day, Christians throughout the world celebrate the day Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem days before his crucifixion as crowds left palm fronds and clothing in his path as a sign of praise and respect.

Christians will now observe Palm Sunday in physical gatherings and processions globally for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020.

Catholics faithful's in procession to celebrate Palm Sunday along Kimathi Street in Nyeri town, April 10, 2022. [Mose Sammy, Standard]
The Catholic faithfuls in procession to celebrate Palm Sunday along Kimathi Street in Nyeri town, April 10, 2022. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Why is Palm Sunday important to Christians?

The day marks Jesus' mighty entrance into Jerusalem, the start of the march to his death on the cross at Golgotha. It's also known as Passion Sunday in honour of his suffering and death before his resurrection.

How is it observed?

Usually, people mark Palm Sunday by attending parades or going to Mass (church service), where they are given small crosses made of palms, or blessed palm leaves, to take home with them or take part in a procession.

Catholics faithful in procession to celebrate Palm Sunday along Kimathi Street in Nyeri town, April 10, 2022. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Palm Sunday is often celebrated with processions and the distribution of blessed palm leaves.

In some churches, the palms are saved and burned into ashes to be used on Ash Wednesday of the next year. Some Christians fold the palm fronds into crosses and keep them in their homes.

A trader sells palm leaves to Catholics in Nairobi on April 10, 2022, when they celebrated. Palm Sunday is significant as it depicts the suffering Jesus went through in the wilderness. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

When is it celebrated?

Palm Sunday is the last Sunday of Lent and the first day of Holy Week in Christian churches. It falls on the Sunday before Easter and is always a movable feast.

Faithfuls mark the palm Sunday at St.Jude Catholic church in Donholm, Nairobi on April 10th,2022[Boniface Okendo, Standard]

In Kenya, the Government had announced a ban on social gatherings in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic but this year’s celebrations might return to normalcy.

The directive massively affected the church congregations in the past two Palm Sundays as it abhors close body contact which could lead to infections.

Based on the government directive, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) had in the last two celebrations directed Catholics to follow the Palm Sunday service on various local TV stations.

The clerics said the move is to enforce the social distance and “stay at home” orders to combat the spread of Covid-19.



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