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Palm Sunday Customs

Q. Is it true that Palm Sunday customs have been as varied as Christmas and Easter customs around the world? A. Yes, indeed! Palm Sunday commemorates, of course, Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were spread before His path by those who welcomed Him (see John 12:13). The palm is a symbol of triumph and rejoicing. Though most American churches today use palms exclusively, in earlier times, in lands where palm branches were difficult to obtain, other branches were substituted, such as box, olive, willow, and yew. For this reason the day was once called in England either Yew, Willow, Olive, or Branch Sunday.

Around the world, flowers have long played a prominent role in the celebration of this day, with blossoms blessed and intertwined with the palm or other tree branches. So in England, Germany, Armenia, and some nations of Eastern Europe, it has also been known a