Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday - the Sunday of the Passion

Traditionally, St. Catherine's marks Palm Sunday with a procession around the church holding palm crosses or fronds.  Later, members of the congregation participate in presenting the Gospel that describes the Passion of our Lord.

The Rev. Cannon Herbert O'Driscoll has this to say about the Palm Sunday procession:*

"Liturgical processions are not just occasional attempts to vary the sequence of our liturgy.  A procession is full of symbolism in action.  It may not be a very grand procession.  There may be a small choir, a few children, a server in the latest runners under an ill-fitting alb or cassock, all followed by a very ordinary and familiar priest.  Grandeur and appearance is not the point.  Meaning lies in the actual doing of the procession.  The very important fact being acted out is that Christian life is a JOURNEY.  We are travellers, 'companions on the journey,' as a modern hymn sings.  The way in which we are doing our travelling may change.  At times we may travel as wanderers, rather lost and vulnerable.  We may travel as pilgrims, sure of our destination.  We may travel as nomads, barely surviving as we go.  Sometimes we may be confident enough to travel as adventurers, even explorers.  All these models are true of our Christian travelling.  All are implicit in that ordinary shambling procession on its way up the aisle, across the front pew, back around the font, and finally into the chancel and home."

* Thanks to Rev. Fred Tassinari for this quote from Praying to the Lord of Life (pp. 82-23) by Rev. Canon Herbert O'Driscoll.  Thanks to Ann Blue for the photograph of the procession.

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