Friday 12 April 2019

Palm Sunday at the Cathedral

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the Second Sunday in Passiontide, the last Sunday of Lent, and the beginning of Holy Week.

On this day, Christians celebrate the triumphal arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem one week before His resurrection. The faithful receive palm leaves which they use to participate in a ritual procession.

Here in the archives we have a wonderful series of photographs that show Cardinal Ambrozic celebrating Palm Sunday Mass in 2005. It's of course interesting to see the Cathedral before the renovation project, but these photographs also document some important Palm Sunday traditions:
  • The vestment colours for Palm Sunday are red and white, symbolizing the redemption in blood that Christ paid for the world.
  • Crosses, statues and images throughout the cathedral are veiled in the purple as a reminder of Lenten penitence for the two weeks of Passiontide.
  • Palm leaves and plants can be seen throughout the church. A cross made of palm leaves is hung from the pulpit, and potted palms decorate the front of the church.

Palm Sunday Mass  at St. Michael's Cathedral. Photographed by Suzanne Scarsone, 2005.

ARCAT OPRC Accession 2005-040

The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday is always the passion narrative, however which Book of the Gospel is read depends on the liturgical year. Below are Cardinal Ambrozic's notes for his homily for the Passion Story from the Gospel of Luke (Year C of the Liturgical Calendar). This is the same Gospel that will be read this Sunday:

Palm Sunday - C (2004)

A few remarks about Luke's Passion story:
1) Jesus as Martyr: he is the just man (the remark of the man crucified with him)
2) Jesus' compassion: he is sorry for the Daughters of Jerusalem and their children.
He is sorry for all of us knowing our weakness and sinfulness
He forgives: "Today you will be with me in paradise," "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing"
3) He is our model : we are to follow him.
Simon carrying Jesus' cross behind Jesus.
A book published on the suffering of the Catholics of Oriental rite: Ukraine, Romania.

Cardinal Ambrozic Accession 2007-004 - Homilies, Palm Sunday.

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