The Sunday before Easter Day is known as Palm Sunday, because the events preceding Jesus’ crucifixion included the crowd spreading palm branches on the road ahead of him. John 12:12-16
Palm leaves, often folded into the shape of a cross, are given out during church services. There may be a procession inside the church or through the streets. A real donkey may even be involved.
Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week. When I was a child there were always activities at church during Lent and Holy Week. I vaguely remember some based on stories about evil characters, who were trying to stop children doing the right things.
Many churches have services every day in Holy Week. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are observed by more people than the earlier days in the week.
Maundy Thursday is when the institution of the Lord’s Supper (also known as Holy Communion, the Eucharist or Mass) is commemorated. John 13 is where the story begins. Jesus teaches his disciples about the Holy Spirit in the following chapters.
Good Friday is a very sombre day when Jesus’ trial and crucifixion is at the centre of our thoughts. John 18 -19
The following day is often referred to as Easter Saturday, but I was taught that its name is Low Saturday. Easter Day is when Jesus’ resurrection is celebrated. More about that next Sunday!