Faithful observation of Palm Sunday with devotion at Bantwal Church

Pope Francis blesses palm branches as he ushers in Holy Week

REACHING OUT. A lay minister blesses palm fronds during a Palm Sunday Mass at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, on April 14, 2019. On the day the Church also celebrated the day of the youth, the pope urged young people not to be ashamed to show their enthusiasm for Jesus. Israeli officials reported an estimated 15,000 people took part in the procession.

HOLY WATER. Priests sprinkle holy water on thousands of Catholics who join the Palm Sunday observance at Santo Niño Parish in Tondo, Manila, on April 14, 2019.

In keeping with tradition to commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem before His crucifixion, Malaysian devotees trooped to different churches and waved their palm fronds (palm leaves/branches) on Palm Sunday.

"Festive acclamations and brutal torture: the silence of Jesus throughout his Passion is profoundly impressive", Francis said in his homily.

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The pope said that it was important to resist the temptations of triumphalism and remain humble. This twofold mystery accompanies our entrance into Holy Week each year.

The Church itself had to resist triumphalism and spiritual worldliness, he added, calling them "the most treacherous temptation threatening the Church".

Palm Sunday, which falls on the last Sunday before Easter, is recognised by Christians as they mark the beginning of the journey to the cross where Jesus Christ was crucified.

At the end of the two-hour service, Francis asked the crowd to pray for peace, particularly in the Holy Land and all of the Middle East. And, on Easter Sunday the pope will give his traditional blessing to the city and to the world.

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