Life has changed beyond our imagining and so of course has church. Today has so far been the most dramatic change – for today is Palm Sunday.
We would often begin our service outside the open air, we would walk around the parish church waving our palms, or palm branches – we would shout Hosannas and sing together ‘Ride on Ride on in Majesty’ or the more modern ‘Make Way’ – the palms blessed the service begins – palm crosses blessed aplenty and taken far and wide by church members to give to family and to friends – not today.
Today we were ‘live from the vicarage’ no Holy Communion, no ‘Vicar behind an altar’ but me in my chair – from my home to yours. No palm branches or palm crosses but the introduction of #palmcross20 painted on our palms. No church building or community centre full of worshippers but a dispersed and committed online community.
Despite our fear and anxiety, despite the very difficult but essential rules we must live by in these times we did it, we climbed a tree and grabbed a branch, we said our Hosanna’s as Jesus made that entry into Jerusalem.
That first Palm Sunday was not spent in a building, the worshippers were not to sure what they were doing but Jesus was at the centre, just as he was today.
That first Palm Sunday was the start of a very difficult week, a week of pain, anguish and death – just as this one sadly is for us, not just as we remember and worship but in our land and world.
That first Palm Sunday was a journey towards hope, a journey towards something new – let that be our prayer for this Holy Week too. Join us as we reflect, I will be live at 1pm each day and the videos will be on this site later in the day. Join us as we journey together, but above all join us as we pray and walk towards hope and the light of a new dawn.
I leave you with an ancient and traditional Palm Sunday Hymn as we journey on together.
All glory, laud, and honour To thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s name comest, The King and Blessed One.
The company of angels Are praising thee on high,
And mortal men and all things Created make reply.
The people of the Hebrews With palms before thee went;
Our praise and love and anthems Before thee we present.
To thee, before thy passion, They sang their hymns of praise;
To thee, now high exalted, Our melody we raise.
Thou didst accept their praises; Accept the love we bring,
Who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious King.
Your friend and Vicar