Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palms to Passion: Holy Week begins

The earliest known account of Palm Sunday comes from a Spanish (or perhaps she was Gallic) pilgrim, Egeria, who described the elaborate ritual she saw in Jerusalem in about 381.

Palm Sunday took all day, with time out for a mid-day meal before the faithful joined the bishop on the Mount of Olives for a procession with palms into the Holy City. Egeria wrote about her experience, and by the fifth century Palm Sunday had caught on in Spain and soon spread through the Christian world.

Our Palm Sunday does not take all day, nor do we have to walk so far. We began with a procession of palms that winds down the aisles and around, led by our acolytes and wonderful choir. We sing and pray, and we wave our palms.

And so our walk into Holy Week, and to the Cross, begins on this beautiful, sunny spring day. There is something fitting about the contrast of such a gorgeous day with the Passion story that comes next. I believe it is the contrast that gives Palm Sunday so much power.

Tomorrow, Monday in Holy Week, includes our regular noon Prayers for Peace, with prayers from many traditions. At about 12:30 pm we will celebrate a simple Eucharist. Please join me if you can, and wherever you are at noon, please pray for peace and especially for the peace of Jerusalem.

I will blog each day, as I usually do, but I will focus more on what I am experiencing this Holy Week and share those reflections with you. The Monday Funnies will return next week.

May your week be blessed.


Art by William Hemmerling


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your Palm Sunday entry with the details on the origin of this holy day. Thanks, also, for the visuals...what a magnificently-rendered painting!

Holy Week is the week to screen Robert Bresson's classic film 'Au Hasard Balthazar,' too, and your entry reminded me.

Anonymous said...