Palm Sunday or “Bendita sa Lukay (Filipino)” is celebrated every Sunday before the Easter Sunday. It is a moveable feast observed by the Christians. It commemorates an event noted by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which are collectively known as the gospels. OT: The word “gospel” comes from an Old English word that meant “good tale” or “good news.” Today the word “gospel” is used to describe the 4 New Testament books that present the life of Christ. In a general sense, gospel is also used to describe the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Palm Sunday is also called Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion because this is the exulting entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem in the days prior to his Passion. This is why the Gospel reading during this day is very long compared to the ordinary Sundays.
In many Catholic / Christian churches especially in the Philippines, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution and selling of palm leaves often tied into crosses, to the worshipers. Procurement of Palm leaves in the Philippines is easy because of the tropical climate. In other countries which has unfavorable climates they substitute it by boughs of box, yew, willow or native trees.
At San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish Church in Tisa, Cebu, Philippines the celebration of Palm Sunday was also observed. My wife and I bought 1 piece of pre-designed Palm Leaves at P10. The price was crazy as all the leaves and nylon twist from sack where acquired for free. But since I don’t have any choice and it’s only P10 so I bought it. =)
During the season of Lent (a period of 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday), some churches (including San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Tisa) covers all the replicas of Saints, Christ, Mary, etc with purple, violet and/or lavender cloth and removes it on Easter Sunday.
When it’s time for the blessing of the palms, the Priest invited all the people (with palms) to stand in-front of the altar and raise their palms. The priest had a short prayer, got a bundle of leaves then dipped the said leaves into the basin of holy water then whipped the holy water to bless all those who are in-front of the altar.
My wife, Lisa, was in-front while I took the picture at the back seat. Since I haven’t got the chance to be in-front of the altar, Lisa wiped some of the Holy Water she got during the blessing so I would also be blessed. Hahaha. That’s a Filipino trait, right there.