Apr. 10, 2022

April 10, 2022: II SUNDAY OF THE PASSION (Sunday in Palms)


[Sunday in Palms]

Rank: Double of the I Class.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the Just and Saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.”
(Zacharias, ix. 9)

“And you shall take to you on the first day the fruits of the fairest tree, and branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God.”
(Leviticus, xxiii. 40)



O Almighty and Eternal God, who wouldst have our Lord Jesus Christ ride on the colt of an ass, and didst inspire the crowds of people to spread their garments, and branches of trees in the way, and to sing Hosanna to his praise; grant, we beseech thee, that we may imitate their innocence, and deserve to partake of their merit. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Prayer (Collect).

O God to whom to love is true righteousness, multiply in our hearts the gifts of thy holy grace; and since, by the death of thy only Son thou hast made us to hope for those things, which we believe: grant that by his resurrection we may arrive at the happy end of our journey. Who liveth and reigneth, God, world without end. Amen.


“Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”
(St. Matth, xxi. 9)


Gospel Accounts of Christ’s Triumphal entry into Jerusalem

1. According to St. Matthew, Ch. xxi. 1-11

And when they drew nigh to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto Mount Olivet, then Jesus sent two disciples, Saying to them: Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied and a colt with her: loose them and bring them to me: And if any man shall say any thing to you, say ye, that the Lord hath need of them: and forthwith he will let them go. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: Tell ye the daughter of Sion: Behold thy king cometh to thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the fool of her that is used to the yoke. And the disciples going did as Jesus commanded them. And they brought the ass and the colt: and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way: And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem the whole city was moved, saying: Who is this? And the people said: This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth of Galilee.


2. According to St. Mark, Ch. xi. 1-11

And when they were drawing near to Jerusalem and to Bethania at the mount of Olives, he sendeth two of his disciples, And saith to them: Go into the village that is over-against you, and immediately at your coming in thither, you shall find a colt tied, upon which no man yet hath sat: loose him, and bring him. And if any man shall say to you, What are you doing? say ye that the Lord, hath need of him: and immediately he will let him come tither. And going their way, they found the colt tied before the gate without in the meeting of two ways: and they loose him. And some of them that stood there, said to them: What do you loosing the colt? Who said to them as Jesus had commanded them; and they let him go with them. And they brought the colt to Jesus; and they lay their garments on him, and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way. And they that went before and they that followed, cried, saying: Hosannah, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David that cometh, Hosannah in the highest. And he entered into Jerusalem, into the temple: and having viewed all things round about, when now the even tide was come, he went out to Bethania with the twelve.


3. According to St. Luke, Ch. xix. 28-44

And having said these things, he went before going up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethania unto the mount called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, Saying: Go into the town which is over against you, at your entering into which, you shall find the colt of an ass tied, on which no man ever hath sitten: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man shall ask you: Why do you loose him? you shall say thus unto him: Because the Lord hath need of his service. And they that were sent went their way, and found the colt standing, as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said to them: Why loose you the colt? But they said: Because the Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus. And casting their garments on the colt, they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes underneath in the way. And when he was now coming near the descent of mount Olivet, the whole multitude of his disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen, Saying: Blessed be the king who cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory on high. And some of the Pharisees from amongst the multitude said to him: Master, rebuke thy disciples. To whom he said: I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out. And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.


4. According to St. John, Ch. xii. 12-19

And on the next day a great multitude, that was come to the festival day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. And Jesus found a young ass, and sat upon it, as it is written: Fear not, daughter of Sion, behold, thy king cometh sitting on an ass's colt. These things his disciples did not know at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things to him. The multitude therefore gave testimony, which was with him when he called Lazarus out of the grave, and raised him from the dead. For which reason also the people came to meet him: because they heard that he had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves: Do you see that we prevail nothing? behold, the whole world is gone after him.


Early in the morning of this day, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, leaving Mary, his Mother, and the two sisters Martha and Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus at Bethania. The Mother of Sorrows trembles at seeing her Son thus exposed himself to danger, for his enemies are bent upon his destruction; but it is not Death, it is Triumph, that Jesus is to receive to-day in Jerusalem. The Messias, before being nailed to the Cross, is to be proclaimed King by the people of the great City; the little children are to make her streets echo with their Hosannas to the Son of David; and this in presence of the soldiers of Rome’s Emperor, and of the High Priests and Pharisees,– the first, standing under the banner of their Eagles; the second, dumb with rage.

The Prophet Zachary had foretold this Triumph which the Son of Man was to receive a few days before his Passion, and which had been prepared or him from all eternity. Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Sion! Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King will come to thee; the Just and the Saviour. He is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass (Zac, ix. 9). Jesus, knowing that the hour was come for the fulfillment of this prophecy, singles out two from the rest of his Disciples, and bids them lead to him an ass and her colt, which they would find not far off. He had got to Bethphage, on Mount Olivet. The two Disciples lose no time in executing the order given them by their divine Master; and the ass and the colt are soon brought to the place where he stands.

The holy Fathers have explained to us the mystery of these two animals. The ass represents the Jewish people, which had been long under the yoke of the Law; the colt, upon which, as the Evangelist says, no man yet hath sat (St. Mark, xi. 2), is a figure of the Gentile world, which no one had ever yet brought into subjection. The future of these two people is to be decided in a few days hence: the Jews will be rejected, for having refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messias; the Gentiles will take their place, be adopted as God’s people, and become docile and faithful.

The Disciples spread their garments upon the colt; and our Saviour, that the prophetic figure might be fulfilled, sat upon him (St. Mark, xi. 7; St. Luke, xix. 35), and advances towards Jerusalem. As soon as it was known that Jesus was near the City, the Holy Spirit worked in the hearts of those Jews, who had come, from all parts, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. They go out to meet our Lord, holding palm branches in their hands, and loudly proclaiming him to be King (St. Luke, xix. 38). They that had accompanied Jesus from Bethania, join the enthusiastic crowd. Whilst some spread their garments on the way, others cut down boughs from the Palm trees, and strewed them along the road. Hosanna is the triumphant cry, proclaiming to the whole city, that Jesus, the Son of David, has made his entrance as her King.

Thus did God, in his power over men’s hearts, procure a triumph for his Son, and in the very City, which a few days later, was to clamour for his Blood. This day was one of glory to our Jesus, and the holy Church would have us renew, each year, the memory of this triumph of the Man-God. Shortly after the Birth of our Emmanuel, we saw the Magi coming from the extreme East, and looking in Jerusalem for the King of the Jews, to whom they intended offering their gifts and their adorations: but it is Jerusalem herself that now goes forth to meet this King. Each of these events is an acknowledgement of the Kingship of Jesus: the first, from the Gentiles; the second, from the Jews. Both were to pay him this regal homage, before he suffered his Passion. The Inscription to be put upon the Cross, by Pilate’s order, will express the Kingly character of the Crucified: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. Pilate,– the Roman Governor, the pagan, the base coward,– has been, unwittingly, the fulfiller of a prophecy; and when the enemies of Jesus insist on the Inscription being altered, Pilate will deign them no answer but this: What I have written, I have written. To-day, it is the Jews themselves that proclaim Jesus to be their King: they will soon be dispersed, in punishment for their revolt against the Son of David; but Jesus is King, and will be so for ever. Thus were literally verified the words spoken by the Archangel to Mary, when he announced to her the glories of the Child that was to be born of her: The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David, his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever (St. Luke, i. 32). Jesus begins his reign upon the earth this very day; and though the first Israel is soon to disclaim his rule, a new Israel, formed from the faithful few of the old, shall rise up in every nation of the earth, and become the Kingdom of Christ, a kingdom such as no mere earthly monarch ever coveted in his wildest fancies of ambition.

This is the glorious Mystery which ushers in the Great Week, the Week of Dolours. Holy Church would have us give this momentary consolation to our heart, and hail our Jesus as our King. she has so arranged the Service of to-day, that it should express both joy and sorrow; joy, by uniting herself with the loyal Hosannas of the City of David; and sorrow, by compassionating the Passion of her Divine Spouse.

The whole function is divided into three parts:

1) The Blessing of Palms

2) The Procession

3) The offering of the Holy Sacrifice

The Procession represents our Saviour’s journey to Jerusalem, and his Entry into the City. To make it more expressive the branches that have just been blessed, are held in the hand during it. With the Jews, to hold a branch in one’s hand, was a sign of joy. The Divine Law had sanctioned the practice, as we read in the following passage from Leviticus, where God commands his people to keep the Feast of Tabernacles: And you shall take to you, on the first day, the fruits of the fairest tree and branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows if the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God (Levit, xxiii. 40). It was therefore, to testify their delight at seeing Jesus enter within their walls, that the inhabitants, even the little children of Jerusalem, went forth to meet him with Palms in their hands. The faithful should hold the blessed Palms in their hands during the procession, and during the reading of Passion at Mass, and keep them in their homes as an outward expression of their faith, and as a pledge of God’s watchful love.

The Church in the procession wishes us to honour Jesus Christ as though he were really among us, and were receiving the humble tribute of our loyalty. Let us lovingly go forth to meet this our King, our Saviour, who comes to visit the Daughter of Sion, as the Prophet has just told us. He is in our midst; it is to him that we pay honour with our Palms; – let us give him our hearts too. He comes that he may be our King; let us welcome him as such, and fervently cry out to him: Hosanna to the Son of David!

At the close of the Procession, a ceremony takes place, which is full of the sublimest symbolism. On returning to the church, the doors are found to be shut. The triumphant Procession is stopped; but the songs of joy are continued. A hymn in honour of Christ our King is sung with its joyous chorus. There are heard voices within the holy place; they are singing the praises of Christ, our King and Saviour. These chanters represent the holy Angels in heaven, who are greeting the Entry of Jesus into the eternal Jerusalem. Outside the Church, there stands the choir, re-echoing the Hymn of triumph; but it is man celebrating the Entry of the Son of David into the earthly Jerusalem. The two Choirs are thus kept separated from each other, until at length, the Victorious Cross throws open the door (the Subdeacon strikes the door with the staff of the Cross), which represents the gate of heaven, and unites the Church militant with the Church triumphant. (Note: The Cross which was veiled during the Passiontide is uncovered during the Procession). The door opens, and the people preceded by the clergy, enter the church, proclaiming the praise of Him who is our Resurrection and our Life. The hymn which is sung during this ceremony, was composed by Theodulph, Bishop of Orleans, when prisoner at Angers, by order of Louis the Good. The Church of Rome, by her using the first six stanzas of this short poem, has immortalized it throughout the world. The Chanters within the Church begin the first stanza, which is repeated by the Choir without, not only after this, but also after each of the following five stanzas.



Glory, praise and honour be to thee, O Christ, our King, our Saviour!
To whom the innocent children sang their fervent Hosanna!

R. Glory, praise, &c.

Thou art the King of Israel, the glorious Son of David!
Blessed art thou, our King! that comest in the name of the Lord.

R. Glory, praise, &c.

The whole heavenly host, in the highest heavens above,
And men on earth, and all created things, praise thee.

R. Glory, praise, &c.

The Hebrew people, with Palms, went forth to meet thee:
Behold! we, too present ourselves before thee, with our prayers, desires, and hymns.

R. Glory, praise, &c.

They offered the tribute of their praise to thee, when thou wast about to suffer;
We sing our hymn to thee seated on thy throne.

R. Glory, praise, &c.

They were pleasing to thee; grant that our devotion may also please thee,
O dear and merciful King! to whom all is pleasing that is good.

R. Glory, praise, &c.


As soon as the Choir has sung its Response to the last stanza, the Subdeacon knocks with the Cross at the door, which is immediately opened. In some places, it is the Celebrant himself who performs this ceremony, and whist doing it, he recites the words of the 23rd Psalm, which David celebrates the entrance of our Redeemer into heaven, on the day of his Ascension.

The procession enters the Church, singing the following Responsory:


R. As our Lord entered the holy city, the Hebrew children declaring the resurrection of Life,
*With palm-branches, cried out: Hosanna in the highest!

V. When the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went out to meet him.
*With palm-branches, cried out: Hosanna in the highest!


This ceremony is intended to represent the entry of Jesus into that Jerusalem, of which the earthly one was but the figure, – the Jerusalem of heaven, which has been opened for us by our Saviour. The sin of our first parents had shut it against us; but Jesus, the King of glory, opened its gates by his Cross, to which every resistance yields. Thus by the Procession, which is commemorative of what happened on this day, the Church raises up our thoughts to the glorious mystery of Ascension, whereby heaven was made the close of Jesus’ mission on earth. Alas! The interval between these two triumphs of our Redeemer are not all days of joy; and no sooner is the Procession over, than the Church, that had laid aside, for a moment, the weight of her grief, falls back into sorrow and mourning.

In the Holy Sacrifice, the portions that are sung by the Choir are expressive of the deepest desolation; and the history of our Lord’s Passion, which is to be read by anticipation, gives to the day a character of sacred gloom. During the singing of the Passion, the Faithful hold their Palms in their hands, and, by this emblem of triumph, protest against the insults offered to Jesus by his enemies.

Further in the Tract…

The Tract consists of several verses taken from the 22nd Psalm, the last words of which were spoken by our Redeemer on the Cross. So clear and explicit are the words of this Psalm, that it might almost be called a history, as well as a prophecy, of the Passion.



O God, my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me?
Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.
O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear; and by night, and it shall not be imputed as folly in me.
But thou dwellest in the holy place, O thou the praise of Israel!
In thee have our fathers hoped: they hoped, and thou hast delivered them.
They cried out to thee, and they were saved: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.
All they that saw me, have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.
He hoped in the Lord, (say they,) let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighted in him.
They considered me, and viewed me attentively: they divided my garments among them, and cast lots of my vest.
Deliver me from the lion’s mouth: and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.
Ye that fear the Lord, praise him: O all ye of the seed of Jacob, magnify him.
A people that is to come, shall be declared the Lord’s: and the heavens shall publish his justice,
To a people to be born, whom the Lord hath made.


In the Mass, the history of our Saviour’s Passion is read: but, in order that we may show both heaven and earth that we are not scandalized, as were the Disciples, at the sight of his apparent weakness and the triumph of his enemies, we hold in our hands the Palms, wherewith we have been proclaiming him as our King.

The Church reads, on four different days of this Week, the four Evangelists’ narration of the Passion. She begins with the Gospel of St. Matthew, who was the first to write the Gospel.


Click here, to read the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of St. Matthew.


Taken from: The Liturgical Year - Passiontide and Holy Week, Dublin, Edition 1870; and
The Divine Office for the use of the Laity, Volume I, 1806.


Related Links –
1. The Passiontide and Holy Week.
2. The Holy Season of Lent.
3. Laws of Fasting and Abstinence.
4. Perfect Contrition.
5. The Seven Penitential Psalms.
6. Devotion to our Lord’s Passion.
7. Devotion to our Lady’s Sorrows.


“Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”
(St. Matth, xxi. 9)