The celebration of the mass begins with the entrance procession as the priest and company proceed to the altar and prepare for the liturgical service. The procession is usually accompanied by the Introit or entrance hymn, or for certain days like Palm Sunday will be accompanied by an antiphon. I cannot help but to be reminded of Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem the week before the resurrection. Crowds gathered and waved palm branches at his approach, saying Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Palm Sunday, (Dominica palmarum) which is the sixth and last Sunday of Lent, is when the church remembers this event. Palms will be blessed and distributed to the congregation. The palms are considered sacramentals and will be saved until the next year when they are used to prepare ashes for Ash Wednesday. And while every mass begins with the imagery of Christ entering Jerusalem, in what is sometimes termed as the triumphal entry; on Palm Sunday, with palm fronds waving and voices raised, the image is at its clearest.
An antiphon for Palm Sunday
Hosanna Filio David,
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Rex Israel: Hosanna in excelsis.
Hosanna Son of David:
Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.
Israels King: Hosanna in the highest.