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The beautiful symbolism of this blessing on Palm Sunday


Antoine Mekary | | ALETEIA | I.Media

Philip Kosloski - published on 04/01/23

This blessing of palm branches recalls our ultimate pilgrimage to the new Jerusalem of Heaven.

While Palm Sunday is well-known for its long Passion reading, it also contains multiple layers of spiritual meaning, expressed by one of the blessings used over the palm branches.

The blessing is from the current Roman Missal and calls to mind the ultimate goal of life on earth.

Almighty ever-living God,
Sanctify these branches with your blessing, that we,
who follow Christ the King in exultation,
may reach the eternal Jerusalem through him.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Throughout the Bible, Jerusalem is often seen as both a physical and spiritual location. It is called the “Promised Land,” not just for the Israelites but for all of God’s people, and there is still an expectation of a final journeying to our new home after death.

This is especially spelled out in the Book of Revelation, where a “new Jerusalem” awaits us at the end of this world.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:1-2

As we celebrate Palm Sunday, may we look forward to following Jesus Christ into our eternal home.

LiturgyPalm Sunday
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