Sunday, March 20, 2005

Palm Sunday - the Second Sunday in Passiontide

Holy Week begins today with the liturgical commemoration of Our Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The Catholic Encyclopædia gives an extensive account of this day's history and meaning. There is more than a page devoted just to the various names this day goes under:

. . . The Greeks celebrate the day with great solemnity; they call it kyriake or heorte ton baion or heorte baiophoros or also Lazarus Sunday, because on the day before they have the feast of the resuscitation of Lazarus. The emperors used to distribute branches of palm and small presents among their nobles and domestics. The Latin liturgical books call it Dominica in Palmis, Dominica or Dies Palmarum. From the cry of the people during the procession the day has received the name Dominica Hosanna or simply Hosanna (Ozanna). Because every great feast was in some way a remembrance of the resurrection of Christ and was in consequence called Pascha, we find the names Pascha floridum, in French Pâques fleuries, in Spanish Pascua florida, and it was from this day of 1512 that our State of Florida received its name. . .

The rest is here.

Hosanna filio David: the opening chant for the Blessing of Palms

Pueri Hebræorum portanges ramos olivarum: the first of the antiphons chanted during the distribution of palms.

Gloria, laus, et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: the hymn to Christ the King which concludes the procession.

Today's Station Church:

St John Lateran, the cathedral church of the Roman diocese, and "omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater, et caput".