So began Palm Sunday services at La Crescenta Presbyterian Church. Palm Sunday, considered the first day of Holy Week, is followed by six days of solemn reflection and prayer. The apex of Holy Week is the Triduum, consisting of Holy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; Holy Friday, the solemn observance of Christ’s death; and Holy Saturday, which is considered to be the time Christ spend in the tomb before his resurrection at Easter. (This year, Easter falls on March 23, the earliest date since 1913.)
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem — not as a messiah, but as someone who could give the Jews political freedom from the Romans, wiping them out completely.
Palms are considered a symbol of triumph and victory in the Jewish tradition and were laid on the ground for only the most important people.
The day is considered bittersweet by many, since Jesus’ triumph is short-lived, evidenced by his crucifixion a week later.
Ruth Jahn attended her first Palm Sunday service at La Crescenta Presbyterian this past weekend. A toddler teacher at the church’s school for 14 years, Jahn had never attended this particular service.
“All the people here are wonderful,” she said.
“The miracles of God are here,” said La Crescenta Presbyterian Deacon Janie Atista. “Whether it was the Exodus from back in Moses’ time or nowadays, God is alive, Jesus is alive, and we are so lucky.”
Atista, with her friend Traci Haleen, describe themselves as regular worshipers who take “so much each week” from the sermons they hear, in particular, the sermons surrounding Palm Sunday and Holy Week.
It reminds her of the power of God and the “amazing love he has for us,” Atista said.