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Palm Sunday - the Sunday before Easter

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Wooden cross with palm leaves

Here at Mildmay, we process and wave palm branches during our Sunday Service. Palm Sunday occurs on the Sunday before Easter. On this day, we remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, mentioned in each of the four Gospels. Jesus entered the city knowing He would be tried and crucified.

Last Friday, I invited our volunteer chaplains to come to Mildmay for Chaplaincy Day.

We pray together on Zoom three times a week, and of course, they come to Mildmay once a week or a month or on a Sunday in their role as Mildmay chaplains. It was time to come together to celebrate each other, to pray together, to be re-commissioned by Geoff, our CEO, to enjoy lunch and for a little more training.

Mildmay chaplains in prayer
Mildmay chaplains in prayer
Mildmay chaplains with their certificates

Jesus gathered his friends and disciples this week before saying goodbye to them. This week we remember the story of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, In the Christian calendar, as Palm Sunday marks the first day of the Holy Week. Christians everywhere commemorate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Palm branches are waved in Christ’s honour and in memory of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

During this sacred week, we shall be united in prayer.

Entering Jerusalem with glory (Serbian icon) - unknown author
Entering Jerusalem with glory (Serbian icon) - unknown author

The stones cry out in joy,

The trees wave their branches in delight,

the myriad birds burst forth unto song

In the city and the countryside.

For the Christ comes riding among the people,

Bone of our bone,

And flesh of our flesh:

God who chooses to share life,

We praise and worship you!

Prayers of Intercession on Palm Sunday

O God, we have gathered these stones in our hearts from our roadside,

The roadside along which we follow you.

You will always be found journeying among your people

with compassion and determination

as we bring our prayers to you.

These stones cry out for Mildmay, for those who suffer war and violence, for those who grieve in loss and in loneliness or struggle with illness.

We pray these prayers in unity with all those who believe in you.


Sister Bernie

Mildmay chaplain


Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday in the Christian tradition, is the first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter, commemorating Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is associated in many churches with the blessing and procession of palms (leaves of the date palm or twigs from locally available trees).

These special ceremonies were taking place toward the end of the 4th century in Jerusalem and are described in the travelogue Peregrinatio Etheriae (The Pilgrimage of Etheria). In the West, the earliest evidence of the ceremonies is found in the Bobbio Sacramentary (8th century). During the Middle Ages, the ceremony for the blessing of the palms was elaborate: the procession began in one church, went to a church in which the palms were blessed, and returned to the church in which the procession had originated for the singing of the liturgy. The principal feature of the liturgy that followed the procession was the chanting by three deacons of the account of the Passion of Christ (Matthew 26:36–27:54).


Banner image credit: Creative Carol on Flickr


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