JERUSALEM – Thousands of Christian pilgrims participated in Palm Sunday celebrations in Jerusalem at the start of the Holy Week.
Worshipers carried palm fronds and olive branches and marched from the top of the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem's historic Old City, home to holy sites of the three Abrahamic monotheistic faiths.
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa and other Catholic clergy took part in the traditional procession, and handed out palm fronds to believers before leading them in a procession inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where tradition holds that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and is the start of the church’s most solemn week, which includes the Good Friday re-enactment of Jesus’ crucifixion and death and his resurrection on Easter.
The procession made its way from the Mount of Olives past the Garden of Gethsemane where, according to biblical tradition, Jesus was betrayed, then finally into the alleyways of the Old City.