Cardinal Timothy Dolan led the faithful in prayer Sunday at St. Patrick's Cathedral as Christians around the city and world marked Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem when he was greeted by cheering crowds waving palm leaves.
It's believed to have taken place during a time when he was facing increasing opposition from authorities and local spiritual leaders, even as his preachings were gaining him more and more followers.
Sunday also marked the beginning of Holy Week, one of the most solemn and significant periods on the Christian calendar, marking Jesus' crucifixion just days after his Jerusalem entrance.
"It's an intense battle between the goodness and nobility of Jesus and the evil of the world; between the mercy of Jesus and the vengeance of his tormentors," Dolan told worshipers.
Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, the culmination of Holy week.