Palm Sunday is an annual feast day in the Christian calendar and marks the first day of Holy Week, a period leading up to Easter. Holy Week is the last week of lent, before the festival of Easter and the end of fasting. The Holy Week is seven days of religious significance, with masses often held on key days.
Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the week before his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection.
In ancient times, palm branches symbolised goodness and victory and as Jesus arrived into Jerusalem, it is said palms were placed in his path.
On Holy Thursday – also known as Maundy Thursday – Jesus was arrested, before being crucified on Good Friday.
According to the bible, Jesus then rose again on Easter Sunday.
Ash Wednesday signifies the start of lent, with masses held around the world.
Often priests use ash to draw a cross on the foreheads of massgoers – and save the palms from the year before to create ash.
One way the palms are used is to fold them into crosses, which can be hung up or stuck to the wall.
There are a couple of simple tutorials for creating palm crosses, you can find one here.
Are Palm Sunday masses going ahead?
With the UK still in lockdown, some may be wondering whether church services will be going ahead this Holy Week.
Churches are allowed to hold communal worship sessions, however, the number of people allowed to enter is subject to assessment.
If you want to attend church, you will have to check with your parish to see their decision on hosting services.
Alternatively, several churches are offering live stream services during lockdown.
These can be found across YouTube, for example, St Mary of the Angels Church in Worthing, West Sussex is live-streaming Palm Sunday mass from 8.30am.