Charlotte Christians mark Palm Sunday with branches and song

On Palm Sunday, millions of Christians – including these children at Charlotte’s Providence United Methodist Church – waved palm branches and sang “Hosanna!” to celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

The sixth Sunday of Lent was also the beginning of the Christian Holy Week. It got its more popular name, Palm Sunday, from New Testament references to the crowds that threw palm fronds before Jesus as he entered the city on a donkey. The mood will turn sober, even sorrowful, in the coming days, as Christians also remember Jesus’ last meal with his apostles on Holy Thursday, then his betrayal, arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday.

Next Sunday is Easter, when Christians will again be joyful as they celebrate, in churches adorned with Easter lilies, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Tim Funk