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Palm Sunday, the Opening of Holy Week

On Palm Sunday we begin Holy Week by commemorating the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, humbly riding on a donkey. The exultant crowd was shouting ‘Hosanna!’ and waving palm branches, a symbol of victory. Yet by the end of the week the same mob was crying ‘Crucify him!’ and asking for the release of a brigand, Barabbas, instead of Jesus. Jesus’s entry on a humble donkey should have given them a clue but they still misunderstood him entirely. He did indeed come as a triumphant king, but not as a political leader. He came not to destroy the Roman Empire but the kingdom of sin and death. Jesus teaches us a different way – his way of compassionate, suffering love. That is what we will celebrate throughout Holy Week and Easter.


Almighty and everlasting God,

who in your tender love towards the human race

sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

to take upon him our flesh

and to suffer death upon the cross:

grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,

and also be made partakers of his resurrection;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.




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