An outdoor blessing of the branches for Palm Sunday returns to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Sunday after two years of doing it indoors or virtually due to COVID-19.

The Palm Sunday Masses at the downtown cathedral will begin outdoors on the Cathedral Plaza for the blessing of palm branches.

The branches representing the palms the crowd brought when Jesus rode into Jerusalem will then be carried by the faithful as they process into the cathedral. This has been a Christian tradition since the fourth century.

Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem shortly before his death and marks the start of Holy Week, which will conclude next Sunday with Easter.

“This is a moment for us to really reflect on the mystery of our redemption — the mystery of God’s love for us,” Archbishop José Gomez said.

“Jesus carried his cross for us and he died for us. To set us free to live a new life — to live for God and for the love of our neighbors and families.”

Gomez will celebrate Palm Sunday Mass in English at the cathedral at 10 a.m. The Rev. David Gallardo, cathedral’s pastor, will celebrate the Mass in Spanish at 12:30 p.m.

The Masses will be livestreamed at facebook.com/lacatholics, youtube.com/olacathedral and olacathedral.org/live.

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